Due Date (15)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Zach Galifianakis
Friday 05 November 2010
Since making the funniest mainstream comedy of the last five years in The Hangover, expectations have been running high as to what the director Todd Phillips would do next (apart from The Hangover 2, of course). This odd-couple road comedy is – how to put it? – adequate.
As in, perfectly OK. As in, not a patch on The Hangover. Robert Downey Jr plays a prospective father who's hurrying home to LA in time for his wife's due date. His misfortune is to encounter a wannabe actor (Zach Galifianakis) whose idiotic behaviour gets them both kicked off a plane and forced to make a cross-country road trip together, where hilarity... sort of ensues. At one point someone says, "Have you ever seen the movie Forrest Gump?" Wrong film.
The question is, have you ever seen Planes, Trains & Automobiles? If so, you'll know that this is retreading ground once covered by Steve Martin and John Candy, with a few tweaks. Galifianakis is not very different from the needy nincompoop he played in The Hangover – instead of the Caesar's Palace gag he gets to ask whether the Grand Canyon is "man-made" – though with a dope habit and a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel he's twice as dangerous. Downey Jr is actually much the funnier of the two, his exasperation with his unwanted companion expressed in comic timing that presently has no equal in Hollywood. The script, however, worked on by four writers, runs out of juice way before the finale, and the sentimental turnaround you just know it's going to pull is much less neatly handled than the one that eventually brought Steve Martin and John Candy into a conciliatory hug.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre