No Crowning Achievement

Due Date breaks water, no new ground

The filth wake of a new Jackass film makes other movies’ attempts to shock with ribald humor futile, even with dialogue like “I vomited in the wound.” Nice try, Due Date, but Steve-O practically gargled human feces. Too unimaginative to be risqué, director Todd Philips has made a “blender” film; you know, where they make an acceptable-but-not-delicious cinematic smoothie by pureeing superior ingredients into one shapeless discolored but drinkable mess. It takes a village to raise a child, and it took four writers to steal from Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Hangover, from which the producers even stole an actor. Zach Galifianakis, who should ask Jack Black about the legal limit on the number of times a comedian can repeat the same performance, plays Ethan Tremblay. The difference between the good-hearted, dangerous man-child that is Ethan and Alan, the character Galifianakis played in The Hangover, is that one is named Ethan and the other is named Alan. Because Ethan is a ridiculous cartoon, he somehow manages to get expectant father Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) tossed off a plane and put on a no-fly list. Because the plot requires them to do so, the two wind up having to rapidly travel across country in an attempt to get Peter home in time to see his wife (Michelle Monaghan) produce his progeny. Do they make it? Do they become weird friends? Is there a bevy of masturbation jokes, including multiple shots of a dog making like a lonely prison inmate, and brief, mostly unfunny cameos from marginally famous actors and actresses? A gentleman never tells. Yes. Look, Due Date isn’t bad. It isn’t interesting enough to be bad. The best description is that it feels like a classic comedy from which someone cut the most memorable scenes. It’s perpetually marginally amusing, but whenever an epic moment is needed, the film resorts to barely passable physical gags, most involving “Looney Tunes” car crashes. Due Date takes place on the same plane of reality as “The Office,” in that it sure seems like our world, but people can do anything without actual consequence. Downey Jr. is charming, and Galifiankis is funny. And if Downey Jr. and Galifianakis were as charming and funny as they seem to think they are, maybe the sins of Due Date would be absolved. Instead, the film is just an unlikable douche and a stoner one-beard heavier than Forrest Gump bumbling around as you ask “are we there yet?” Grade: C-

posted at 06:28 pm
on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

COMMENTS

(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus

 

« Previous Page


Myopic Biopic

Biopics are lies. Oh, don’t get me wrong, all storytelling is fundamentally fibbing. But it seems somehow more disingenuous to airbrush actual human histories, to select which warts to ignore and...

more »


Cold War Sizzle

Presumably, a reboot or remake is done to capitalize on the good will and brand recognition of an intellectual property. Do fanboys of the 1960s TV show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” exist? Does anyone...

more »


Flash Without Flair

I fell for Ricki and the Flash’s embarrassingly enthusiastic advertising run—the poster of Meryl Streep in full rock star garb and numerous TV spots in which she praises her latest project. I fell,...

more »


Finite Jest

Director James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour is a movie about two writers talking to each other for five days and not much else. They talk about everything we’ve come to expect that writers in...

more »


Missed It By That Much

Gather ‘round the campfire, children, your Uncle Ryan has a story of terror to tell.

Way back in “aught 6,” Omaha didn’t have a way to watch some of the best movies in the world. It’s true! Why,...

more »







Advanced Search