Tropic Thunder (2008)
Director: Ben Stiller
Writer: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Brandon T. Jackson, Jay Baruchal, and a whole bunch of other people, like you don't know. we're probably the last people on the planet who hadn't seen this movie
douchy ego maniacal hollywood stars come together to make a high budget blockbuster about a mission in vietnam. they are terrible. the director and writer vet guy, come up with a scheme to drop the cast in the jungle. hi jinx ensues.
Oftentimes, if I'm understimulated I'll begin to doze off at about 10:30. This decidedly did not happen when we watched "Thirst" on Sunday. It definitely did happen when we watched "Tropic Thunder," and part of why I woke up was because the replacement BD started skipping.
This was not a bad movie. It wasn't even a journeyman's approach to direction or production; but it was a journeyman's approach to screenwriting. With three credited writers, it's my opinion that most of the funny came from Ethan Cohen while most of the unfunny came from Ben Stiller, and I don't care where the rest of it came from. There's a scene early on where Jack Black's character is shown as a send-up of Eddie Murphy in his multiple farting character movies. It's just a shame that the film didn't heed its own advice. I really felt like we were having less fun watching the move than was had by those who made it.
There were plenty of funny little bits and long-term setups with OK payoffs, but this is supposed to be a lighthearted satire of war action movies; and I didn't find the fact that EVERY character had some stupid secret which lead to some other stupid reveal and some third stupid growth to be satirical. I found it (wait for it...) retarded. They didn't all need to grow. The movie could have ended earlier and been funnier, or it could have ended at the same point with(e.g.)out Lance Bass. Tom Cruise was quite funny, especially when you realized it was him, but I could have done with a LOT less of that deal, again especially at the end.
Acting was probably in the B- range. Robert Downey was pretty funny as an Aussie in surgical blackface to play a black man, and I was happy to see a Jack Black role with less of the standard Jack Black schtick. The dude from Hot Rod was good, but he was playing the dude from Hot Rod; and everybody else was just fine. Steve Coogan (whose demise was actually funny) was alright.
I won't dwell on the technical here, but I will say that it could have been much worse. In fact, I might prefer to watch a comedy directed by Stiller, but neither written, produced, nor acted by him. Production value was high enough and creative enough where it had to be. Music was mostly unmemorable, except for the rap star's reasonably funny songs.
Because that's what this movie really was: reasonably funny. I don't recommend renting it or demanding it, but if it comes up on pay cable and there's nothing on you could do worse.
i think my expectations for this movie were too high. lots of people i know liked this movie a lot. it's not that i didn't not like it, i just thought it was you stereotypical stiller flick. i don't see much of a difference between this and dodgeball. i don't know why i thought this would be better, funnier. i guess because zoolander was so awesome it has kept the dream alive.
we did miss the climax in it's entirety because netflix sent us another dud. moster probably mentioned this so i won't. it just wasn't good enough to stop, turn it off, and wait two more days for another replacement. we did get the gist by watching it in blips of frozen screen and fast forward. i guess that says a lot right there. the funniest part, in my opinion, happens about twenty minutes in with an unexpected explosion. i won't give it away for the two of you who haven't seen it. it would ruin the joke. also, i would like to know how the whole "retard" thing was edited out. it was kind of an integral part to the plot trudging along at an expected pace.
all in all i was disappointed. so much potential. so much of the same jokes.