Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t dip his toes into the waters of comedy very often, but he really should because he’s brilliant at it. Ever since Iron Man launched the renaissance that transformed him from an also-ran into one of the biggest stars in the business, he’s only made two straight-up comedies, one of which saw him land an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his efforts.
While Ben Stiller has admitted that Tropic Thunder wouldn’t get made today, and some woke folks on the internet demanded that Downey Jr. apologize for wearing blackface in the movie despite never having seen it for themselves, he perfectly pitched his performance as Kirk Lazarus to poke fun at the entitlement of rich white dudes that think they can play any role they want regardless of race or gender.
Two years later he then teamed up with The Hangover director Todd Phillips and star Zach Galifanakis for Due Date, generating plenty of chemistry as the fast-talking straight man to Galifanakis’ eccentric loner. It was a solid hit at the box office back in 2010 after bringing in $211 million on a $65 million budget, in what marked the last time Robert Downey Jr. starred in something designed purely to wring laughs from the audience.
Due Date may have only arrived on Netflix yesterday, but it’s already become the fourth most-watched movie on the streaming service as fans rush to catch the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Tony Stark appear in something that isn’t quite as abjectly awful as Dolittle. It might not have won universal critical acclaim, but it’s proven to be a hit with Netflix subscribers already and is definitely entertaining enough to warrant a watch.