In the 80's, for a while Hollywood was convinced that to make a successful movie all you had to do was follow a simple formula: take two polar opposites (preferably straight-laced businessman / full-on party dude), stick them in close proximity to each other for a few days and then watch the humorous sparks fly. The 80's road trip movie was a direct outgrowth of this lazy, inexpensive way to make a movie, and while those hijinks might have been funny in 1985 when I was shitting my diapers in 2010 it's just pathetically dull.
Instead of pairing up a monkey and a cop, or a German Shepherd and a cop, or a half-cop / half robot with a dolphin that can talk, "Due Date" decides to combine a retard (Zach Galifianakis) with a complete void (Robert Downey Jr.). From the start of the movie, all we really know about either character is that one is quirky and boring and the other is just…boring. This never changes throughout the film's duration. No character growth, no stunning insights into the human condition, and almost no laughs. At. All.
Zach Galifianakis is a typically a funny man, but not when he's jerking off in the front seat of a rented Subaru, or crying in a men's room, or chewing through a baby's umbilical cord. Yes, I just wrote that. Downey Jr. fares no better, as he can't hide behind a cool robot suit or a Charlie Chaplin moustache and is instead forced to face with eyes wide open the utter wasteland that is the "Due Date" script. Honestly, it's almost like the writers were locked into a room and forced to watch "The Wizard" and "S.A.M." back to back to back on fast forward until they finally excreted something that could be filmed at minimal cost.
As for the human cost of "Due Date" – it's almost too high to calculate. This is the kind of movie that will have you leaving your soul behind when you exit the theatre's double doors, a movie that will make you wonder how two such promising talents could ass-plode their future prospects so completely and utterly in just 100 minutes of screen time. If you own a gun, don't bring it to "Due Date" – instead, keep it locked up at a friend's house for a least a full week after seeing this stunning declaration of hopelessness and inanity.
Then again, if you think a dog masturbating on camera is the pinnacle of comedic achievement, perhaps you should jump into a burning vat of "America's Funniest Home Videos" submissions and just end it all right now. I hear that's how Bob Saget's career died.
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