Canadian Reviews

Tropic Thunder Review


Tug Speedman (Ben Stiller) is an actor hired to star in an ensemble Vietnam war movie based on a best-selling book (Tropic Thunder), with two other huge stars, Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) and drug-addled funnyman Jeff Portnoy(Jack Black). Of course, with such huge egos, the production goes astray and the director is amiss on how to get it back on track. The author of Tropic Thunder, himself a Vietnam vet, suggests a trip into the jungle away from the luxury and personal assistants each one has. There, they encounter a drug lord and the fictional war movie suddenly becomes reality.

This movie is one of the funniest Stiller has made in a while. It starts out as a spoof of war movies and begins taking shots at Hollywood stars’ egos and the movie industry. There are tons of sight gags, like the fountain of blood from a wounded soldier to exploding cast members to the slaughter of an endangered species. The movie itself starts out with some of the best fake movie trailers ever made. Stiller’s Scorcher series are atypical of action movies, while Portnoy’s Farty Family is a rip off of Eddie Murphy fat suit movies. Lazarus’ Satan’s Alley has to be seen to be believed (and the cameo in it is downright hilarious too). By the end of the fake trailers, I was already crying I was laughing so hard. When the movie itself gets going, it takes shots at Vietnam movies, parodying the scene in Paltton where Willem Dafoe is running, trying to get to the helicopters and gets shot in the back.

Jack Black is almost an afterthought in this movie, which in my opinion, is a good thing. The only good thing he brings are his scenes with his ‘jellybeans’ (heroin stash) are pretty funny. Robert Downey Jr. steals huge chunks of the film with his portrayal of an African-American sergeant, with his classic line, “I’m just a dude disguised as dude playing a another dude”. Ben Stiller brings in plenty of comedic moments, including his outright refusal to believe that the bad guys they run into aren’t just actors testing them. His former dramatic role as ‘Simple Jack’, a handicapped farmer is the one that has the Special Olympics and tons of other groups up in arms. In some ways it is offensive, but the use of ‘retard’ is never meant to be crude, just a way to expose how shallow all the actors in the movie really are.

  

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Added: August 19th 2008
Reviewer bootlegga
Related Link: Official website
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