Starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis
Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover)
Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content
Appropriate for ages 17+
Due to unfortunate events that take place on a plane, Robert Downey Jr is put on the “no fly” list and must hitch a ride with Zach Galifianakis in order to make it home for the birth of his first child. Suffering one horrible catastrophe after another, the two trek on in an agonizing journey.
Minus the trains, this is essentially Planes, Trains and Automobiles for a new generation. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as funny and doesn’t contain half of the heart.
It would be a mistake to claim that it’s not funny though. Many of the jokes work here and Zach, apparently just being good old Zach, provides 95% of the laughter. While his character here is nothing new, he is always interesting to watch just to see what he’ll do or say next. He is so good at playing the idiot that it’s hard not picture him in the role. He’s the very picture of the guy you love to watch but would never want to be around.
Downey, Jr, however is just your average straight man, perhaps too straight for this film. He sets off on the journey as a no-nonsense, irritated and arrogant man and very little changes throughout the journey. He does have a bit of an arc, but it’s too slight to be appreciated. There is still good chemistry between the characters, but they are certainly no Abbott and Costello or Martin and Candy. Perhaps it would have been a better film if Downey, Jr had switched roles with costar Jamie Foxx.
As for the story, you can’t think too hard about the premise or you realize it’s too far fetched and extreme. The whole incident that took Downey, Jr. off of the plane and onto the “no fly” list is too contrived and should have been made much bigger and funnier in order to have any chance of being believed.
But most audiences will only care about whether or not it’s funny, and it is certainly better at delivering laughs than most comedies this year. That being said, it’s still nowhere near the hilarity of Jack Ass 3D. B