While Steve Carell’s Barry character in Schmucks was called, “a tornado of destruction,” a meeting of the mind’s between him and Ethan would send Barry running for the hills. Here is a man so out of touch with his surroundings that he continually refers to himself as 23 years old, thinks a headshot works as a picture ID, and isn’t ashamed to masturbate in the car seat next to Peter just to get himself to sleep. Even if it means his dog Sunny needs to participate by masturbating in the backseat as well.
One thing definitely goes for Todd Phillips: at least his movies progressively look more like real films. Maybe his inflating budgets are making him more able to hire real cinematographers and better editors. Speaking of which, at a scant 96 minutes, the pacing is more assured and there are fewer spots that tend to drag.
As for Downey, Jr. and Galifianakis, a better pairing for this movie could not have existed. While Galifianakis is starting to be typecast with Ethan being the naïve madman with a heart of gold, if it weren’t for Downey, Jr. playing Peter, that character would have been far too unlikeable. He really is quite a douche. Thankfully, Downey, Jr. has so encompassed the everyman role that even when he’s sucker - punching a youngster or spitting on Ethan’s dog - you just can’t help but empathize with him. So while everyone may be expecting Due Date to be The Hangover 2, this is a whole other beast. Feel free to hitch a ride with the new odd couple from hell; just make sure you don’t drink the coffee.
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures