Due Date review (Blu-ray)

The Hangover was one of my favourite comedies of 2009. Observe and Report was easily my least favourite (the film is, to be honest, utter crap). Due Date, which boasts the director of the former, falls somewhere between those two in terms of laughs.

Downey Jr stars as straightlaced architect Peter Highman, who is desperate to get back home to LA to be present at the birth of his child. At an airport in Atlanta, he gets involved in a minor (and very silly) altercation with would-be actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), a devoted fan of Two and Half Men with a liking for weed. Taken for a pair of terrorists, they are chucked off the plane by airline security and are put on the no-fly list, so Peter reluctantly agrees to share a car with Ethan, having lost his wallet and credit cards, on the 2,236 mile trek to Hollywood.

They detour along the way for encounters with Ethan's drug dealer (Lewis), crash the car when Ethan nods off at the wheel, pay a visit to Peter's pal (Foxx) who may still harbour romantic longings for his wife, take a mistaken route to the Mexican border, where Peter is interrogated by officials and Ethan causes carnage when rescuing him, loiter briefly at the Grand Canyon before they finally make it to LA in the nick of time so Peter can get to the hospital and be with his wife for the birth.

Due Date does have some genuinely funny moments, and the chemistry/rivalry between straight-man Downey Jr and the wacky Galifianakis works a treat. It's a classic odd couple story, and fells very similar to the brilliant 1987 film Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which starred Steve Martin and John Candy. But that was a much funnier film – particularly the memorable scene with Martin at the car rental counter. Due Date will probably never attain such status – except, perhaps, for the masturbation scene featuring Galifianakis and his dog – but there are worse ways to while away an hour and a half.

EXTRAS ★★½ The Triple-Play edition has three copies of the film – Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy. The bonus features themselves consist of deleted scenes (3:55); a gag reel (6:31); the featurette Due Date: Too Many Questions (0:41); the featurette Due Date: Action Mash-Up (0:30); and the complete scene from teh sitcom Two and a Half men that features Ethan Tremblay (3:02).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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