Saturday, November 13, 2010

Due Date: Planes, No Brains and Stolen Automobiles

*See the bottom of the review for more information about the idea proposed in this month's poll.*

Due Date - (2 Stars)
The first thing I thought when I saw the preview for "Due Date" was that it looked like an updated version of the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," as I'm sure many other people did. The movie was basically marketed as "Planes..." meets "The Hangover." Fans of "The Hangover" will be much more interested than fans of the "Planes..." (in fact, Todd Phillips directed both "Due Date" and "The Hangover"). Although, even they might not find it too funny. I was not particularly amused.

Due Date"Due Date" uses the tried and (usually) true method of pairing two mismatched people for comedic effect (call it an odd couple, or the "jerk and the moron" or even a variation of the straight man to the funny man). The problem is that most of the time you really don't like the "jerk" or sympathize with the "moron." I'd like to say that along the way their characters grow and get better, but they really don't.

The aspect of the movie that bothered me the most and really put me out of the movie-going experience was that "Due Date" wasn't a realistic, sincere type of comedy. Now this wouldn't be a bad thing except that it's not on the opposite end of the spectrum, a ridiculous, funny slapstick style of comedy either. The movie starts out believably enough (and enjoyably enough as well) but quickly begins veering more towards stupidity and away from being funny or believable.

One of the reasons I wanted to like this movie more than I did was that I have enjoyed Robert Downey, Jr.'s performances of late. I was more than a little disappointed when I saw that he was going to be in this movie, but held my breath that perhaps he and Galifianakis could pull it off. However, Galifianakis seems to be playing a vaguely similar character to his Hangover counterpart, who I didn't enjoy the first time around and Downey is channeling a more smarmy version of Tony Stark, his character from "Iron Man." Except where Tony Stark's character is a likable character with some personality flaws, Downey's character in "Due Date" is just completely unlikeable.

In the end, there were definitely funny parts throughout the movie, but many of them also showed up in the trailers. "Due Date" never hits any real comedic stride and really peters out by the end. In fact, as the movie went on I found myself wondering how long it was. While it officially clocks in at 100 or so minutes, it feels closer to north of 2 hours.
(100 minutes - Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content - 2010) (Netflix - February 22)

I'm toying with a new idea and have added a poll to see what people think. I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, but I often have more to say. What I'm thinking of doing is creating a series of posts that would be extra, spoiler-filled commentary for people to read after they have seen the movie. For example, there are several things from this movie I wanted to elaborate on but didn't want to spoil anyone as to what specifically occurs in the movie. There was also a lot in Toy Story 3 and Inception as well. Please take the poll and let me know what you think about this idea!

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