Due Date

It is a wonder of human ingenuity that road trip movies are still being made. After years and years of putting every possible combination of characters through every imaginable series of obstacles, somehow we always end up back on the road.Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.), a prim and proper architect based in Atlanta, is about to become a father. With his wife’s C-Section scheduled for the end of the week, Peter heads to the airport to fly home to Los Angeles. As he opens the door of his cab, another car drives by, smashing the door off. On board is Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) an aspiring actor hoping to make it big in Hollywood. Through a series of mix-ups and misunderstandings, Peter is thrown off his flight and put on the No Fly List after being associated with Ethan who used the words “bomb” and “terrorist” onboard the aircraft. Unable to fly and without his wallet and baggage, Peter must somehow find a way home. On cue, Ethan shows up with a car to offer him a ride to LA. Faced with no options, Peter accepts, and a two thousand mile journey of vulgarity, vehicle destruction and personal injury begins.Right from the start, the scenes in Due Date seem a little too familiar. Spot the signs, and you can predict what’s going to happen; try it yourself. These gags are funny to some extent, but at times you feel as if you’re watching a less-than-inspiring highlight reel. The film could easily be written off entirely were it not for the appeal of its stars. Robert Downey, Jr. has always been likeable whether he’s Charlie Chaplin, Iron Man or an Aussie actor playing an African-American. That goes for his performance in Due Date, despite his best efforts to be an arse for much of the film. Galifianakis, meanwhile, delivers just what you’d expect as he continues to ride on the success of The Hangover. Through the film’s course, Peter transitions between being deplorable and benign while Ethan goes from excruciating to genuine and insightful. The turning points are fairly unclear, but the warm exchanges between a two account for Due Date’s finer moments.With the vast open spaces of the road between Atlanta and Los Angeles as a backdrop to performances from leads who make the most of a skinny script, Due Date offers some harmless fun.