The Critics: ‘Due Date’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  11.08.10 | 2:38 PM ET

When I first wrote about “Due Date” a few months back, I compared it to the 1980s road trip classic, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Now that the movie has arrived in theaters, many critics are drawing the same parallel—but the new flick, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, just doesn’t hold up when compared with “Planes, Trains.”

New York Magazine’s David Edelstein describes “a premise so wrung-out I’m bored recounting it—two viscerally mismatched people thrown together on a desperate road trip,” and the Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Rainer suggests that “if the comic premise of this film appeals to you, you’d be better off renting ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’.” Over at Slate, Dana Stevens adds: “It’s not that a reworking of this familiar material couldn’t be made funny again, but it would take a lot more imagination than this movie, directed by dude-comedy auteur Todd Phillips (‘Road Trip,’ ‘Old School,’ ‘The Hangover’), seems willing to put in.”

I caught the movie this weekend, too, and I was not impressed. The drive from Atlanta to L.A.—a road trip with plenty of potential—provided only a few miserly scenic shots, and while there was a handful of good laughs, too many of the jokes fell flat. I’ll give David Edelstein the last word:

At journey’s end, though, “Due Date” is less than exhilarating. It’s still a formula mismatched buddy movie that goes nowhere you haven’t been, happy to hug the Interstate, willfully oblivious to other roads and a more surprising—and even more riotous—world elsewhere.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

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