Peter (Downey Jr.), an architect who is trying to get home to Los Angeles for the birth of his child, is put on the “No Fly List” after an altercation on an airplane with struggling actor Ethan (Galifianakis). With no wallet, baggage or options, Peter is forced to take a cross-country roadtrip with Ethan, with disastrous results. An erratic buddy comedy buoyed by the strength of the leads.
I’ll get this out of the way now: though it shares the director and one of the stars, Due Date is no Hangover. The script isn’t as consistent, and while Galifianakis and Downey Jr. work decently well together, they don’t achieve quite the same level of chemistry. The two play close to their usual types (Galifianakis the oblivious man-child, RDJ the deadpan straight man), but Galifianakis lacks the good-nature of his previous characters, veering dangerously close to outright obnoxious. On the other hand, seeing the usually cool-headed Downey Jr. red-faced and apoplectic is almost worth the price of admission. There are plenty of laughs to be found, but the plot contrivances to arrive at them are pretty ridiculous. As a “buddy road trip” movie, the overall ride is fairly predictable, and has been done better elsewhere. However, there’s enough here to warrant a matinee or a rental.