You would think that any movie where Zach Galifianakis gets Robert Downey Jr. hella stoned and then dazzles him with explications of the brilliance behind "Two and a Half Men" is bound to be a good time. I mean, you would, right? But dude-comedy specialist Todd Phillips' new "Due Date" is an oddly listless and downbeat affair, setting these two beloved eccentrics adrift in a road movie that's rarely funny enough to connect as absurdist comedy and rarely compelling enough to work as recession-era male-bonding melodrama.
Both guys are fun to watch, at least in patches. Downey, of course, would be entertaining if he were reading stories from the Financial Times out loud; there's no living American movie actor who seems both so effortless and so effective. If he plays pretty much the same soulful wiseass in every movie, the characters are somehow all individually convincing, or maybe they're all subsets within the much larger performance of playing Robert Downey Jr. It could be a gag, all by itself, that Downey plays a straitlaced architect in "Due Date," a tightly wound Type-A achiever who's never done drugs and is mortified to find himself trapped with Galifianakis' loser deadbeat on a cross-country road trip. But his performance is low-key and largely realistic, and never remotely resembles shtick.
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