Pop Culture Princess

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Avengers:FilmFail misses a Due Date for laughs in Bad Movie Month

Yes, folks, we're halfway through our Bad Movie Month journey and our Avengers:FilmFail theme brings us to the Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.

Now, Downey can be very funny, when given the right material, and his comic talents have bolstered up some rather flimsy films in the past. However, there was no amount of super powers that could turn a boring bromance movie like Due Date into worthwhile entertainment.

Granted, the movie did do well at the box office when it was originally released in 2010 but most of that success can be attributed to Downey's Iron Man fandom(the second sequel came out earlier that year) than any real attempt at making this sorry mess work.

Downey plays Peter, an architect determined to get home in time to witness the birth of his first child, with wife played by Michelle Monaghan,who was also the love interest in Playing It Cool(the Captain America entry in this series). Does she have really bad luck in picking these roles or what?

Anyway, Peter runs into Ethan(Zach Galifianakis), a weird guy with a French bulldog in tow, at the airport. As Peter and Ethan keep bumping into one another, including an awkwardly gross encounter involving overhead baggage on the plane, things get worse for our man Peter.

Before he even gets on board, an accidental luggage switch has him under suspicion as a drug mule(how they let him on the plane after a quick phone call is beyond me) and then when Ethan starts making comments about terrorism, it's Peter who gets zapped by security. I know this is supposed to be dark humor but some jokes just don't work these days and airline terrorism is a subject best disposed of there:

 After they both get tossed off the place, Peter and Ethan wind up traveling to L.A. together, since Ethan wants to a) spread his father's ashes that are in a coffee can and yes, a bad coffee brewing scene crops up later and b) become an actor. Oh, and he's a big fan of Two and A Half Men and you bet, there's a pay-off on that towards the end!

Peter, not having his wallet on hand, decides to put up with Ethan for as long as it takes to get back to his wife(Monaghan is fortunate enough to literally phone in her performance) but so many wacky hijinks get in their way!

From being beaten up by an irate Western Union clerk(Danny McBride) to stopping by for "glaucoma medicine" being dealt by Juliette Lewis, where Peter has to watch her obnoxious kids(and accidentally on purpose, punching one of them) and then winding up unintentionally crossing into Mexico to be detained by the border police, which so does not play well in this day and age, Ethan and Peter get on each other's nerves and mine to boot!

Since the director Todd Phillips also made The Hangover, this movie was said to be a cross between that buddy adventure and the John Hughes' travel comedy Planes,Trains and Automobiles. Sadly, I also see a bit of The Odd Couple here, with Downey trying to be a more polished Felix Unger and having Galifinakis being the stoner version of Oscar Madison.

Trouble is, Downey comes off as a major elitist jerk who makes things worse for himself rather than a good hearted fussbudget and Galifianakis seems to be a character in a tired SNL skit most of the time, which doesn't help in building any chemistry with his co-star.

 That lack of connection between the two just makes jokes that involve drugs, self pleasuring as a form of sleep aid(and the poor dog is dragged into that bit,too!) and suspecting that Peter's wife may be having a baby with one of his friends(Jamie Foxx) seem vulgar and unoriginal instead of cutting edge:

Even when the movie has their leading men in scenes that are supposed to be bonding moments, the guys give off a strong going through the motions energy.

One of those moments is in a men's room, where Peter tries to give Ethan a chance to work on his acting by setting up scenarios for him to riff on. It's like watching the worst episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? where an actual toilet is on the stage, ready to flush away this awful demonstration of bad acting:

Well, Due Date was definitely one to miss and if I may take a moment for a personal complaint-I hate it when you're made to watch a bunch of trailers on a DVD before getting to the menu to start the movie! It's like the studio is saying "Hey, we know this movie is so bad that you might stop watching it before the halfway mark so look at these ads first!"

Yes, Due Date is one of those DVDs and making me sit through trailers for cinematic crap like Hall Pass doesn't put one in the mood to enjoy this dismal attempt at comedy.

Thank goodness, the next entry is our last one, Chris Hemsworth,aka Thor, in the 2012 remake of the 80s action movie Red Dawn, the first PG-13 movie to be released, a dubious honor at best. Hopefully, there will be some memorably bad lines in this one as my sister and I goofing around on the phone that night was much better dialogue than any to be found in Due Date:

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