Thursday, 18 November 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

Due Date (15)

Due Date is a 1987 comedy film directed by John Hughes starring Steve Martin and John Candy it follows them as they try to get across the country in time for Christmas. Ahh, ermm, no sorry that was (Planes, Trains and Automobiles). Oh well “Due Date” is basically the same movie.

So Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr are kicked off a plane in Atlanta. Downey Jr needs to get back across to Los Angeles to see the birth of his first child. Having lost his bags in transit and with no wallet Peter Highman (Downey Jr) is forced to enlist the help of Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis). They set off in the hire car for a hilarious adventure.

The first review I ever did for the Painter's Chronicle was (The Hangover) and I know I’m in the minority but I didn’t like it. This is the buffer movie between The Hangover and its sequel. It’s directed by the same guy (Todd Phillips). So the potential was there for this to be, in my opinion, another dud.

Firstly I’ll go over what’s wrong with Due Date. The main problem is that it’s an almost shot for shot remake of the excellent film (Planes, Trains and Automobiles) and in many ways it struggles to live up to its illustrious forefather. The second problem is that these two characters are far more unlikeable characters than Martin and Candy. Downey Jr is an uptight architect who is incredibly unkind to Galifianakis along the way. Whereas Martin was always uptight you did have sympathy with the frustration he faces, Downey Jr is just a horrible person throughout this film. In the original Candy is portrayed as a bit of an idiot with some odd personality traits however Galifianakis is not at all a believable character and come across as a bit of a caricature. Last of all Due Date doesn’t have enough laughs to sustain it for its 1hr 40min playing time. Also some of the set pieces which you imagine are put there purely for big laughs just don’t do it.

However, I have to say that the second half of the film had me smiling away to myself stupidly as the beautiful scenery swished and swirled across the screen. There is some beautiful cinematography in this film and that was one plus I certainly wasn’t expecting. Also it does have some quite funny moments. I counted about five laughs throughout the whole film which is perhaps just below the “funny” threshold but it’s not bad. Lastly, it’s quite good as an hour and a half of mindless entertainment which is a niche that needs to be filled by movies.

Okay, so it’s stupid entertainment, it’s quite fun but and it’s a big but, this is a glorified rip off. If you want to see this movie only better, then get “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. This is the problem; “Due Date” serves as a reminder of just what a great movie that was. So there we are, its good fun and I did enjoy it, however its older brother is cooler and that’s who you want to spend your time with.

Sam's Star Review: **

Next Week: Jackass 3D 

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