When it comes to Robert Downey Jr’s career since he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like his Iron Man character, it has taken off. While much of his movie time has been spent as Tony Stark/Iron Man, he has performed in other movies as well. One such movie is Due Date, and it arrives tomorrow on Netflix.
Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr. as father-to-be Peter Highman, a successful architect, who is on his way home to be with his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who is about to have their baby. While at the Atlanta airport getting ready to fly back to Los Angeles, he has a chance encounter with Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), who is going to Los Angeles to become an actor. The latter also has plans to scatter his father’s ashes at the Grand Canyon. Here, check out the trailer for Due Date:
While on the plane, Ethan somehow misuses the words “bomb” and “terrorist” causing both he and Peter to be kicked off the plane, landing them on the No Fly List. Robert Downey Jr., who is now also missing his wallet, agrees to rent a car with Ethan and drive to Los Angeles.
When Ethan stops to purchase some marijuana, Peter discovers that they are virtually out of money. He calls Sarah, asking her to wire some, but since he has no identification, she has to send it to Ethan. When they go to Western Union, they realize that Ethan used his stage name instead of his real name. This leads to a violent encounter with the Western Union employee when he won’t release the funds to Ethan. In this way, Robert Downey Jr. finds himself out of control in a situation, in stark contrast to his time in the Avengers.
Peter has had enough. He decides to ditch Ethan at a rest stop. As he is driving down the highway, he notices he has Ethan’s father’s ashes in the car. Conflicted, Peter finally decides to turn back. Back out on the road, Ethan has taken over the driving duties so Peter can get some rest. Ethan, though, falls asleep at the wheel, crashing the car. This is right around the time they could use those Robert Downey Jr. / Tony Stark tech skills.
Without a vehicle, Peter calls a nearby friend, Darryl (Jamie Foxx). Once again Peter decides to ditch Ethan, but this time Daryl talks him out of it. After a misunderstanding where Ethan hints that Sarah may have been unfaithful, Daryl kicks both Peter and Ethan out.
It is one misstep after another as Peter and Daryl continue their trek (with the assistance of Daryl’s loaned Range Rover) to California. As the two begin to bond over a joint, Ethan mistakenly drives to the US-Mexico border where Peter is arrested for possession of marijuana while Ethan flees to safety.
A jailbreak, a trip to the Grand Canyon, a few revelations, a gun, and the shooting of Peter finally bring our wayward pair back to Los Angeles as Sarah has gone into labor. Does Peter make it in time? Does Ethan live out his dream of becoming an actor? More importantly, through it all, have the two formed a lasting friendship?
Due Date is the ultimate road movie. It was written and directed by Todd Phillips, who has quite a few notable movies on his ledger that include Road Trip, Old School, The Hangover trilogy, School for Scoundrels, and his Oscar-nominated Joker.
Due Date came out right after Phillips shocked the movie-going world with his first Hangover movie, so Due Date was a highly-anticipated film. How could it not be with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis leading the way? For the most part, it delivered. Phillips was handed a $65 million budget and the movie brought home close to $212 at the box office.
Critically speaking, Due Date didn’t deliver the goods. Most felt, after Phillips’ The Hangover, that more should have come from his script. Critics also felt that Robert Downey Jr. and Galifianakis were not a good fit.
For Robert Downey Jr., he was riding a high. Beginning in 2008 with his first appearance as Tony Stark/Iron Man, the A-lister moved on to movies such as Tropic Thunder, The Soloist, Sherlock Holmes, and Iron Man 2 before taking on Due Date. He would then sandwich Due Date with follow-ups such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and The Judge. Of course, there would be more Marvel movies to follow.
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most recognized and respected faces in Hollywood. Even misfires like his recent Dolittle film don’t look to slow him down. Next up for Downey Jr. is All-Star Weekend, where he reunites with Jamie Foxx, and then he returns to 221b Baker Street for his third go-around as Sherlock Holmes, which also will see the return of Jude Law as Dr. John Watson.
Until these movies arrive in the theaters, you can catch Robert Downey Jr. yucking it up in Due Date, arriving May 1, 2021, on Netflix.