Who's In It: Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Michelle Monaghan, Danny McBride
The Basics: At one point in this film, Downey tries to get Galifianakis to act like a halftime coach in an inspirational sports film. Galifianakis says, "That never happens in movies." Downey's response: "Yes it does. Every two years, in fact." So just substitute "wacky road trip" into that exchange and here's your 2010 version. It's the uptight guy and the irritating goony guy in a car, the same story all over again because you like it so much. You like the part where it's implausible that they'd wind up doing that in the first place, you like the part where the irritating guy gets the uptight guy into some kind of embarrassing and/or dangerous and/or illegal trouble. You also like the uncomfortable touching, the malapropisms, the car accidents, the gunshots, the butt cracks, the throw-up, the arrests, the getting high and the eventual friendship.
What's The Deal: Having established that this movie has no good reason to exist beyond extending Zach Galifianaki's recent brand ascendancy, it's as good as you could want a useless entertainment exercise to be. It's all his show, from start to finish. Downey plays the exhausted angry foil for Galifianakis's odd, brain-scrambled doofus and it's his presence that keeps it funny all the way through. You won't have two thoughts about it when it's over but some day it'll show up again on cable, you'll sink into the couch and laugh at it like you haven't watched it already. You'll probably polish off a whole bag of chips doing that, too.
What's New In Crass, Juvenile Comedy These Days? That sort of idiot humor never gets old but it's good to see R-rated comedies really pushing forward into even more and more inappropriate and offensive material involving wrongheaded violence, animals doing sex things you never thought about before and even lower depths of smart stupidity. The ingestion of dead people's ashes has been done before (even in crappy Tyler Perry movies like Why Did I Get Married Too?) but it's unreasonable to expect everything to be fresh.
Extra Points For: Galifianakis's horrible curly perm, acid-washed jeans, Capezio dance shoes and Lilith Fair T-shirt; the always cool Juliette Lewis as a bad mom/drug dealer; Danny McBride's brief appearance as an ass-kicking check-cashing clerk; and totally unexpected cameos from two of TV's most popular stars.