Opens: Friday 11/5
Us Rating: ***
This dark bromance from The Hangover director Todd Phillips fails to best last year's blockbuster, but it offers a steady stream of laughs thanks to the odd-couple hilarity of its two leads. Robert Downey Jr. plays uptight businessman Peter, and Zach Galifianakis is wackjob actor Ethan, who offers to drive Peter cross-country after Ethan's terrorist talk gets them booted from a plane.
The talented duo brilliantly spar as they sling zingers and work each other's nerves from Georgia to California, where Peter's wife (an underused Michelle Monaghan) is about to give birth. Be warned: The movie's best jests are mean-spirited. Peter punches a little boy who's pulling on his tie, the pair mistakenly drink Ethan's father's ashes after brewing them as coffee and a wheelchair bound vet savagely attacks them. When the plot veers sweetly toward the pair's inevitable emotional reconciliation, the dude date loses its edge. But it compensates with such random cleverness as Ethan's eulogy for his dad: "You were like a father to me."