I just saw the new Robert Downey Jr. film, “Due Date”. I’m finding it hard to belief that Hollywood has such difficulty in finding new storylines. Basically everything being put out there is a remake, sequel or takeoff of other films similar in character. It seems as though the new class of directors, producers and screenwriter’s have little originality in what they create.
Yes, the movie is good. The characters and the actors portraying them are excellent. It’s the idea that there is a lack of originality. Currently every other movie coming out is either a remake or a sequel with little or no change in the story line or character development. It’s about time that the screenwriter’s come up with ideas truly their own.
This film is basically a take off on the 1987 comedy classic “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” featuring Steve Martin and John Candy. Just like the character portrayed by Steve Martin in the 1987 classic Downey’s character gets stuck in the airport as he tries to make it across county in five days to be there when his wife gives birth to their first born. In “Due Date” however Downey’s character (Peter Highman) loses his luggage and wallet and is put on the “no-fly list”. In desperation he accepts a ride from Ethan Tremblay, played by Zach Galifianakis. Their road trip, which runs from Atlanta to L.A., is hilarious yet tragic.
In the 1987 classic, Martin’s character Neal Page is stranded in an airport due to all flights being cancelled because of bad weather while trying to get home for the Thanksgiving holidays. Martin meets up with John Candy (Del Griffith) whom like Martin’s character is stranded by snow flurries and must get to his destination both team up sharing a ride and much to Martin not knowing Candy finds him to be loud mouthed, obnoxious and just plain rude.
In “Due Date” the story line plays out in the same fashion. However Downey’s character is trying to get home in time for the birth of his first born and has lost his luggage and ID. Locations and climates might have changed but they are both virtually the same.
One thing I will say however is that Downey’s acting abilities have come a full 180 degrees since he has conquered his drug and alcohol additions and like his fellow peers of days gone by I see him moving forward in his career and his personal life.
I won’t say that I didn’t like the movie because it was breathe taking and hilarious. Downey and Galifianakis make an excellent pairing. My only problem is that I’m tired of all the remakes and sequels which Hollywood and the industry put forth, whether in be in the movies or in music. It’s about time someone comes up with something original. On a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 7 ½ and I know it will do well at the box office seeing most of the younger generation probably won’t remember “Trains, Planes and Automobiles”.
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“Trains, Planes and Automobiles” (1987), Paramount Pictures retrieved from