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Due Date (2010) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Image“Due Date” fits perfectly into the common critic line, “you’ll either love it or hate.”  Unfortunately, for me it is the latter.  I found “Due Date” to be contrived, tasteless and excruciatingly not funny.  Now, just to make it clear, I actually watched this film twice just to make sure that I wasn’t in a bad mood or something.  Bad move.  I loathed it more the second time.

The basis for the film is a road trip from hell.  To complete opposite type personality strangers are “forced” to drive from Atlanta to Los Angeles in a rental car.  First, there is no build up in the opening.  Poof, and all of a sudden, by random our two main actors get into a meaningless conflict on an airplane and are de-boarded and placed on a “no-fly list.”  Seriously, you take someone off the plane, no full well that he has no ID, no credit cards, no money, nothing and then just let him go.  Yeah, right.

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is our businessman that is trying to make it home to Los Angeles by Friday for his wife’s scheduled C-Section.  Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) is an insanely dumb and annoying traveler that is traveling to “Hollywood” to make it as an actor.  All it takes is two lines from Ethan’s mouth to make you want to shut the movie off.  It may have been clever or entertaining to first few times around, but by 15 or 20 minutes into the film the sequences begin to loop.

“Due Date” plays the same card over and over again.  The two travelers bicker at every turn.  Fine, but the formula for the arguments are the same every time.  Ethan says something incredibly dumb and then Peter corrects him, back and forth, back and forth.  It just doesn’t end.  However, if you find it funny and keep finding it funny then you are going to enjoy this film a lot, because that is the entirety of the film.  However, if like me you find the antics and arguments nonsense then you are in for a long ride.
Now, for the best part, you sit through the entirety of the film just waiting to see our hero of sorts, Peter get to his destination.  And what happens then?  Well, find out for yourself, but I’m telling you now, it isn’t worth the pain and suffering of getting there.  For how awful Ethan Tremblay is, and all the ridiculous events that he puts Peter through, you really want Ethan to get his come-uppance in the end.  Unfortunately, the end of the film is like the beginning of the “The Cable Guy.”  Ethan stalks Peter for the rest of his life and gets his wish of becoming a TV star on “Two And A Half Men.”

A film like this could work.  It needs to have movement from one side of the country to the other.  Instead, the trip is full of redundant misbehaviors by Ethan.  The other thing the film would need is to have Peter be at fault some of the time.  But as far as I can see, Peter was kicked and beaten for the entirety of the film, so when things don’t even go his way at the end, we are left with a broken man that has had his life altered forever by a man with half of a brain, if that.

I could go on and on, but essentially, you either agree or agree to disagree at this point.

“Due Date” does come to Blu-ray with a more than competent video image.  There are a few things that I nitpick at, but overall the image quality is going to be the highlight of this release.  Colors are nicely saturated without becoming cartoony.  The contrast and brightness levels are nicely balanced.  Deep black levels provide some depth to the image with some occasional crushing.  Shadow delineation is not the strongest point of the video quality but for the genre of film it is still above average.  There is some ringing here and there, but there are no major artifacts of any kind.  I hate to give a film such as this high marks in any category, but the image quality is beyond doubt in this case.

The audio quality fairs almost as well as the video.  Still, the audio track lacks the ultimate punch that even a comedy can provide us.  The LFE channel is used a couple of times in the film and provides nice low-end support.  Other low frequencies that you may hear come from bass management.  Dynamics are better than I expected, but they still suffer from the source sound design.  The dialogue is the primary element here and it remains intelligible throughout the course of the film.  The surround channels don’t really contain any discrete effects.  They do a fairly decent job at providing ambience.  Pans through the rear channels are not as accurate as I would have hoped but this only occurs on a couple of occasions.  The audio track will deliver, which is more than I can say of the film itself.

Even for a film such as this, the special features are light and disappointing.  I was hoping that they might actually be better than the film.  Four minutes of deleted scenes are excruciating.  “Too Many Questions” is simply a montage of the question Ethan asks Peter.  “Action Mash-Up” is another montage that seems almost like a trailer.  The disc also has a gag reel, the full appearance by Ethan on “Two And A Half Men” and BD-Live functionality.  Lastly the package comes with DVD/Digital Copy disc.  All in all, the special features come in at a total time of about 15 minutes.

“Due Date” has a moment or two, which I believe were in the trailer.  Despite the great audio and video qualities on this release, I just simply cannot recommend this title.  Stay away.

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