I have but one real requirement for a comedy. It need have a coherent plot. It need not have good actors. It need not make me think about the nature of being. All it has to do is make me laugh. If it makes me laugh out loud more than half a dozen times it is above average. I lost count of how many times I laughed in Due Date (probably still well shy of double digits).
There is no need to heap too much praise on this movie but since I always complain that I wish the writers, directors and actors in so-called comedies would take just A LITTLE time to make them A LITTLE funny, I have to be generous. They took at least a little time. Sure Jaime Fox is in this film, apparently, to just give a ride. Sure things that would cause an international incident are glossed over. There is no depth and genuine sentiment appears and then disappears like a fart in the wind. So what? So long as you chuckle.
This "guys forced to travel together" thing has been done a lot better and a lot worse. This is not Planes Trains and Automobiles and it sure as hell isn’t Midnight Run. Both Downey and Zach Galifianakis put in a solid “days” work here but it is sort of hard to remember the gags after and it just makes so little attempt to weave any of the scenes together, to make them mean anything to the rest of the movie. It is a series of skits, sometimes funny ones, but not cohesive. But if you don’t pay too much attention to details it might work for you. Why should you worry about the details? The writers and editors didn’t!
There seems, for instance, to be some allusion to Downey Jr.’s character having anger issues and I SUSPECT this was more prominent in some version of the screenplay. Maybe it was this anger Galifianakis “cures” with his whacky antics. But this really never matters in the plot. Maybe that is a good thing? I don’t know. It all makes little sense. Didn’t the screenwriters know you can send money to someone who has lost all their identification with a code word?
As has happened to me a few times recently, I really keep thinking about the predicament film critics face when talking about movies like this; you cannot totally lower the boom on it but it is hard to praise it either. Critics who can write engagingly about mediocre movies really have my respect. It is easy to trash a picture and it is even easy to praise one but when it sort of falls into the middle of the road what do you write? THAT is the sign of a clever writer, when they can engage your attention writing about a 2 star film.
Keep in mind with me writing about a comedy. Many films that the general populace find HILARIOUS, I find as funny as a visit to the proctologist. So take what I say with a grain of salt. If you just rolled on the floor watching Old School or Talladega Nights? You will probably think this is WONDERFUL. I am not knocking you. Just saying you have a 12 year olds sense of humor. Also keep in mind I thought this movie was going to totally suck. SO, it may just not totally suck and therefore gave me a better impression than is warranted. SEE? It is hard to write about movies like this.