Offcuts: Due Date

25 Jan

Behold, the worst injustice in filmic history since that actor you like wasn’t nominated for that award you thought he should win: Due Date’s Metascore is twenty-two points lower than that of The Hangover. I. Know.

Zach Galifiankis plays pretty much the same oblivious, thumb-handed idiot in both films, but partnering him up with a quietly seething Robert Downey Jr. yields far funnier results than having him flanked by two equally stupid (but considerably more prone to hysterical screeching) manchildren. RDJ’s expecting father -a high-strung but straight-faced architect forced to roadtrip across the US with the bearded cretin that got him kicked off his plane – focuses his rage with laser precision. It’s genuinely funny when he punches a kid in the stomach, almost entirely because of the swiftness and efficiency of the blow – in an instant, the outburst has passed without so much of a changing facial expression. These kinds of moments are, simply put, far more entertaining and far less tiring than the prolonged screaming meltdowns that so often punctuate male-led comedies.

The story is predictable, the situations contrived, but Due Date boasts  some great staccato-ish gag delivery, gorgeous scenery and an enormously underrated double act (even though Galifiankis can’t match his co-star’s comedy chops, he’s likeable enough and absolutely sells the more dramatic bits) that probably won’t reform ever again. LoveFilm it, at the very least.

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