November 8, 2010
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Going in, I knew this movie would be measured against two films: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles the recent success of The Hangover. Despite being neither, it is a solid addition to the buddy-road trip movie.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Peter, a man desperately trying to get home in time to see the birth of his child. Zach Galifinakis is Ethan, the man that helps and worsens Peter’s race against time. They get put on the no-fly list, they wreck almost every car along the way, and take an accidental trip to the Mexican border.
Director Todd Phillips, fresh off of The Hangover, takes his shtick from previous films and puts it on the road. Both leads being prone to going off the script, play off of each other perfectly. The laughs aren’t all from one actor or the other. The punchlines are shared among the cast, but years from now, Ethan’s lines will be the ones most quoted.
A solid comedy. The script isn’t as strong as one would expect from such a collaboration, but it works for the most part. The locations and situations are fairly grounded in reality, with absurdity being just around the corner. If the trailer appeals to you, the film’s best lines aren’t all wasted in it. Some of the best lines weren’t used for promos, and that really counts. Too often, a comedy will put the best moments in the promos, like a highlight reel, effectively lessening the film’s freshness. This is slightly applicable here. 3 out of the 5 stars