Last year, director Todd Phillips was able to make one of the funniest films of the decade, The Hangover, by constantly ratcheting up the insanity. Just when you thought things couldn’t get more out of control, someone lost a tooth, or Mike Tyson showed up, or a gangster ended up in the trunk of a stolen police car.
Phillips’s newest film, Due Date, a clear homage to the John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, attempts to do the same thing—with somewhat less inspired results.
Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a tightly wound architect who is traveling across country to witness the birth of his first child. Zach Galifianakis is Ethan Tremblay, a dope smoking, perm-sporting man-child who, as is often the case with Galifianakis characters, is just a few loose screws away from being completely unhinged.
In Planes, Trains and Automobiles it was bad weather that forced the two mismatched companions to set out on their cross country journey. In Due Date, updated as it is for the new...