Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tropic Thunder

When I first saw the pre-views for this, my first reaction was: oh, I’ve seen all this crap before. And really, you have. The movie centers around a group of over the top actors filming a war movie, and by a twist of fate and a cruel idea from the director, they are plunged into some real life combat with scary mercenaries working at a heroin refinement plant. Basically, actors thinking bullets and danger are all part of the set, and comedy ensues. Aside from having a less than original plot, it’s quite entertaining. And who goes into a comedy expecting great acting and a superb plot?

There are even fake pre-views and ads at the first for the characters movies, and those are some of the best moments of the film. And Robert Downey Jr’s character transforms himself into an African-American guy, and plays an absolutely hilarious racial stereotype, which steals the comedy thunder of Jack Black and Ben Stiller when they are on camera together. Jack Black and Ben Stiller do their usual comedy routines; Black does the loud and crazy guy, and Stiller does his clueless and illogical dumb guy. That alone carries the first half or so of the movie. Once again, even though you have seen it before, it’s still pretty funny.

The latter half of the show gets a little slow. The funny parts get more and more sparse, and it mostly just spends its time setting up for the end, which has quite a few chuckles, but does not redeem itself for letting you get a little bored. I’m not kidding, there were a few times I thought of listing points in the movie that would be ideal piss breaks.

All in all: Nonsense and nuisance in a neat package.

Lives up to the pre-views? Falls a little short.

Stars (out of five): 3


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