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After going to Atlanta on business, architect and anxious father-to-be Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jnr) is forced to accept a ride with a man he has just met, aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), with whom he embarks on what turns out to be a tumultuous road trip filled with mishaps.

Review by Louise Keller:
It’s not as funny as this team’s The Hangover, nor is the screenplay nearly as good, but there is an appealing sense of the ridiculous that periodically bubbles its way to the surface. The oddball pairing of Robert Downey Jnr and Zach Galifianakis works, however. Like The Hangover, the premise hinges on a single event and the humour evolves as one misadventure follows the next. It’s a road trip from hell for all involved and chaos results as the two central characters view events from opposing points of view.

When Downey Jnr’s architect Peter Highman and Galifianakis’ would-be actor Ethan Tremblay have a run-in at the airport as Peter prepares to fly home for the birth of his first child, they see the incident differently. Peter sees it as a possible sign that things could go from bad to worse whereas Ethan optimistically believes it’s a sign of good things to come. Downey Jnr plays it dead straight as this stranger (Galifianakis) impinges into his space and seemingly kidnaps his life. 

As Peter is placed on a ‘No-Fly’ list after a series of misunderstandings, he realises (sans luggage, ID or wallet) his only chance to get home to wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) for the birth, is with Ethan. Juliette Lewis is great fun as the drug dealer at whose home Ethan stops to collect ‘pharmaceuticals’ (director Todd Phillips has a cameo as her husband), but the laughs come from Downey Jnr who steals the scene as he teaches a precocious kid a lesson. Jamie Foxx is solid as Peter’s good friend Darryl, who comes to the rescue when Ethan falls asleep at the wheel and … well, let’s just say the car does somersaults and things get out of hand. The running gag about Darryl’s relationship with Peter’s wife has its pay off in the final scenes.

There are some bizarre ideas, like getting stoned without smoking weed by locking all the car windows, Ethan’s impersonation of Marlon Brando’s Godfather and the presence of a masturbating little pug called Sonny, who does very little except look cute. The prickly relationship between Peter and Ethan that mellows into a close bond is a bit hard to swallow. Downey Jnr adds a splash of class to this road movie with buddy themes that offers harmless fun, although the laughs wear thin and pranks are overdone as we make the final dash for its theatrical conclusion.

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(US, 2010)

CAST: Robert Downey Jnr, Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride, RZA, Charlie Sheen

PRODUCER: Todd Phillips, Daniel Goldberg

DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips

SCRIPT: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Szstykiel, Todd Phillips


EDITOR: Debra Neil-Fisher

MUSIC: Christoph Beck


RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 25, 2010

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