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Union Films Review: Due Date

3rd February 2011

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Coming the end of this week to Union Films, Robert Downey Junior and Zach Galifianakis star in comedy smash hit Due Date. Often described as a Hangover wannabe, Due Date with its scattered laughs and sketchy story line at best, ultimately fails as an imitation.  

The plot is simple enough; highly-strung Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jnr) is desperate to return home in time for his wife to give birth, and is forced to embark upon a road-trip alongside oddball aspiring actor, Ethan Tremble (Zach Galifianakis). There is a brief interlude when Peter’s friend, Darryl, (Jamie Foxx) intervenes, but his character, and involvement with Peter’s wife, remains unsatisfyingly under-developed.

However, for everything Due Date lacks in realism, characterisation, and restraint, it is still an enjoyable watch if the viewer has abandoned high expectations. This is with the exception of a few nasty moments, surprisingly coming from expectant father Peter.Given that his character is supposed to represent normality,his unsettling behaviourtowards children, war veterans, and injured dogs, provides some disturbing scenes of comic desperation.
Despite the partnership between Downey and Galifianakis lacking the chemistry expected of a travelling duo and failing to seduce the audience, Galifianakis himself provides welcome comic relief to the rather stressed tone provided by the obnoxious and bad- tempered role played by Downey Junior. However, he is in danger of being a one-trick pony by boxing himself into the role of the simpleton. Although he tries in vain to incorporate some touching sentiment into the film, this is consistently counteracted by Peter’s apparent lack of emotion concerning the birth of his child, which is never revealed under his sarcastic visage.
Through its many downfalls, Due Date provides a few good laughs, and is worth a one-off watch for the moments of pure comedy that seep in through the cracks. In particular, Ethan’s reaction to Peter’s tale of childhood abandonment is
one to look out for, in all its perverse cruelty. The end result of Due Date is a few chuckles that are quickly forgotten.
 Catch Due Date at Union Films, Sunday 6th February, 5pm.

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