Thursday, February 2, 2012
As the follow-up to "Hangover", director Todd Phillips attempts to provide an updated version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles". However, with such high expectations the result is a mediocre R-rated comedy.
The film is really a two-man show with the high-strung father-to-be Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), an architect with anger management problems, and aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). Through the rudeness of Peter and the destructive nature of Ethan, they find themselves on the "no fly list" and are forced to ride from Atlanta to Los Angeles with on a road trip in order to make it home in time to see Peter's wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) and the birth of their child.
Peter is your typical business traveler that only had intentions of a quick trip and is ill-prepared for the events that take place when he leaves his wallet on the plane after being escorted by the air marshal. Ethan is a strangely effeminate, bearded wannabe actor that carries his masturbating dog in a purse. With no money, Peter is forced to tag along with Ethan for the journey back home.
The guest appearances are necessary to keep whatever momentum the film has to continue moving. Danny McBride as a handy-capable Western Union employee with reservations at Chili's. Juliette Lewis as a medicinal marijuana dealer. Jamie Foxx as the best friend Darryl, helps save the day by providing transportation just when things look to be at their lowest point. In a less literal way, Jamie Foxx also saves the movie from the irritating, over the top, jokes that the audience has been abused with. However, I wonder why Peter didn't call Darryl earlier.
In the end the film made me go out and find a copy of "Plane, Trains and Automobiles", because it was so much better with Steve Martin and John Candy. Perhaps it is because both are/were true comedians as compared to the dry stylings of Robert Downey Jr. and the zany Zach Galifianakis. Most of the jokes work, but in the end you are ready for it to be over, which isn't a good way to leave a film and cause for me to drop the rating down to only 2 Quacks.