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You know on Thanksgiving when you carve up a turkey and eat all the good parts, and then you take everything else—the bones and the beak and the gizzards and the bunghole and the armpits and the feathers and all the little nubbins of bird mucus—and you just puree it until it forms nice stiff peaks, then add generous amounts of candied fruits and nutmeats, and form it into a creamy log-shaped fruitcake to eat on Christmas morning? Waste not, want not? You know? That's basically Due Date. Except with less compulsive masturbating.
It's like director Todd Phillips noticed that he hadn't made a bajillion dollars lately (whoops!), so he swept up all the scraps of dialogue and rejected gags and second-rate wackiness leftover from The Hangover and churned it through the Play-Doh Spaghetti Factory, and presto! Look, you guys! Spaghetti! No, seriously, it's real spaghetti—I made it fresh for you! Eat it. EAT IT. YOU LOVE IT. THERE'S BEAKS IN IT. GIVE ME A BAJILLION DOLLARS.
I hope you are sitting down, because I am about to break your figurative kneecaps with my surprise shillelagh. Kneecap #1: In Due Date, Zach Galifianakis plays an annoying weirdo (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Kneecap #2: In Due Date, Robert Downey Jr. plays a guy who says sarcastic stuff (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Due to shenanigans that don't make any sense, the two of them wind up in a Subaru Impreza racing cross-country from Atlanta to Los Angeles for the birth of Downey Jr.'s first child. Compulsive masturbating ensues. (Sample dialogue: "I didn't sleep last night." "Well, you really should've masturbated. Because I had a glorious orgasm and I slept like a baby.")
The pair's journey is an uninspired cavalcade of misery, felonies, gross incompetence, Bluetooth humor, and shoehorned ruminations on fatherhood. Obligatory cameos include RZA, Jamie Foxx, Steven Brody Stevens (high five, comedy nerds), and Danny McBride. Galifianakis and Downey Jr. are their usual charming selves and achieve adequate chemistry. More sample dialogue: "Shakespeare. Heard of him?" "Yes, I've heard of him. He's a famous pirate. And it's ShakesBEARD." There are some sweet moments of candid loneliness, some odd moments of man-on-man intimacy, and a couple of truly creepy directorial misfires (Downey Jr. punching a child in the gut left the theater grimacing long after the scene had passed). All in all, the best I can say is that it's better than Dinner for Schmucks. High praise indeed.
Look. As far as off-season comedies go, Due Date is not NOT funny—just like how ground-up turkey beaks are not NOT food. But I would walk, not run, to all-you-can-eat ground-up-turkey-beak day at Claim Jumper's. Or whatever. If you know what I mean. Zzzzzzzzzz.