Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tropic Thunder (2008) R - 4 Stars

At first I didn't think I was really going to enjoy this movie as I thought it would turn out at yet another lamb attempt at laughter. However, the story line really took me by surprise and I thought it was not only a good comedy, but a good action / adventure film and everyone fit their roles. Great cast of names and RD Jr. is great in his role, Stiller made up for my let down of "Night at the Museum" and Cruise was funnier than I've usually seen him. Movie starts out great but fizzles out and gets a little cheesy towards the end Some pretty funny lines like RD Jr's, "I'm a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude." I recommend this funny poke at Hollywood and some of it's pompous actors.

It's been called a racist movie due to Robert Downey Jr.'s character. What about the movie, White Chicks, which I didn't think was near as funny, but I don't recall any mention of racism with that film... lighten up. I think we need to stop labeling things so precisely as it aids in keeping racial tension active. It's just a funny flick for EVERYONE, white, black and all alike.

Producer, Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), and director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), are making a film taking place in the jungles of the Vietnam war. Four Leaf Tayback (Nick Nolte), is a self proclaimed Vietnam vet and offers advice on where the direction of the movie should head. Production has slowed way down as the actors are too busy pampering their gi-normous egos, and don't take the filming seriously. Four Leaf suggests to Cockburn, the actors be taken to the middle of the jungle and filmed fighting their way back out. Cameras could be hidden throughout the trees, to give the film a more realistic "Gorilla style" look.

Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), is just a little to full of himself. As he constantly tries to direct the film, he extends the movie way past it's budget. Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), has gone to the controversial extent of dying his skin dark, in order to play the role of an African American soldier. Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), is the overweight comedian of the group, only thinking about where he will get his next fix, out in the middle of nowhere. Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), great name btw, is the African American soldier that has to deal with Lazarus trying to think he's his "bro"and Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) is the slower one that everyone seems to pick on or look to as the man with any military training. Along with Damien and Four Leaf, the group are dropped off in the jungles of Vietnam, not knowing a secret drug production operation is lurking right next door.

As they all start to whine over their predicament, they realise, the sooner they continue through their scenes, the sooner they can get back to the set and go home. As they move along, with exaggerated Rambo techniques, each new trail leads them to a new scene of the movie. Even when the find stumble upon a heron production plant, thinking it's part of the movie, they ad lib through their lines. Next, the group of ego baring, misfitted, irritating actors must keep themselves from being killed by the bad guys so the can bring the film to it's end.

Red Hour Films, DreamWorks
Director: Ben Stiller
Writers: Etan Cohen, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller
Producers: Eric McLeod, Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld
I viewed 11/08

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