Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Movie Review: Tropic Thunder

The first casualty of war is innocence...
Tropic Thunder is the movie about the movie about the book about the Vietnam War by the veteran John "four leaf" Tayback.
Tropic Thunder Stars Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) as "Four Leaf" Tayback, Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) as Osirus, Jack Portnoy (Jack Black) as Fats, Alpa Chino (Brandon Jackson) as Mo Town, and Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) as Brooklyn, when the movies budget blows up Daniel Cockburn (Steve Coogan) refuses to give up on Tropic Thunder and takes the advice of John "four leaf" Tayback (Nick Nolte) and take the Hollywood actors and drop them in the jungle and film them in the wild.

Tropic Thunder is a genre blender, it's a comedy but with some impressive cinematography that could pass as footage in movies such as Platoon, Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket. The intro scene was actually really cool with soldiers running across a war torn battlefield as choppers zip back and forth and one gets shot down and crashes towards the screen. Unfortunately the buget for Tropic Thunder goes way over and Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) pulls the plug on Cockburn's film.

Once the group is dropped off the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan when Cockburn gets blow'd up,a rift between Tugg and Lazarus puts the squad of pampered actors in a situation; follow Speedman who thinks the whole situation is scripted or listen to Lazarus who realizes they're in a world of hurt. The typical war movie senario where the FNG's have to decide who to follow. Tugg Speedman finds himself alone in the jungle without TiVo as the rest of the group doubles back to where they're supposed to be. Tug Speedman gets captured by the Flaming Dragon gang and is tortured until the leader realizes they've captured the star of Special Jack, Tugg Speedman! Kirk Lazarus and the rest of the gang stumble upon the Flaming Dragon base camp and come up with a plan (I love it when they come together) to rescue Tugg.

Ben Stiller must've had an epifany one night after watching some war flicks because TT is really a refreshing change from some of his recent movies. I loved Meet the Parents, didn't like Meet the Fockers, avoided the Heartbreak Kid and thankfully didn't spend a dime to see Starsky and Hutch! I loved There's Something About Mary but never wanted to see Zoolander or Mystery Men. For me Stiller is very hit or miss, but he did a great job along with the rest of the cast. Best line in the movie "stick with me and I can see big things for you, maybe a MTV teen choice award!"

Robert Downey Jr. who in my opinion was the best part of TT, method actors beware, Kirk Lazarus is the master! I remember the first time I saw a pic of RDJ as Kirk Lazarus as Osirus I had to do a triple take, controversial skin pigment alteration procedure INDEED! My wife and I were in hysterics every time he spoke, we were like "how the fock" is he doing that!? The funniest parts of the movie for us were between Kirk Lazarus and Alpa Chino. It was kinda like the polar opposite of White Chicks with the Wayans! Best line in the movie "I'm a lead farmer mutha fucka!"

Brandon Jackson as the rapper/entrepenuer Alpa Chino was hilarious, Booty Sweat FTW! I want to get the soundtrack just for that song! Best line in the movie "What do YOU mean you people?"

Jack Black brought the laughs as Portnoy the herione addicted comedian, who suffers once his stash is lost. The detox scene and flaming dragon infiltration scenes are a friggin riot, seeing Jack Black tied up on the back of an ox is a sight to behold. Best line in the movie "Alpa if you untie me I'll suck your D*ck"
Tropic Thunder has alot of other high profile stars in it, Matthew McConaughey as Tugg's agent Rick "Pecker" Peck, Tom Cruise as Les Grossman the executive producer with the crusty hands, foul mouth, bald head and smooth moves, Jason Bateman, Alicia Silverstone, Lance Bass, Jon Voight, and Jennifer Love Hewitt as themselves.
Tropic Thunder is probably Ben Stiller's funniest movie so far, RDJ's performance as an Aussie method actor playing a black man pretending to be an asian rice/poppy/lead farmer has got to be one of the funniest most bizarre things I've seen in awhile. Unfortunately I have a bad habit of finding spoilers online, but if I had gone into Tropic Thunder totally unaware of what was in store I might've blown a colon laughing!
This movie viciously attacks the core of hollywood from the narcisistic actors to the greedy executives and the rap moguls that squeeze every last dollar out of their fans thru merchandising. Ben Stiller put alot of hard work into this film and it payed off! I'm actually surprised it wasn't shot down by the Les Grossmans of hollywood. TT is very funny and enjoyable, I recomend it for adults but be warned, keep the kids at home and if your easily offended by stereotypical off color jokes (pun intended) avoid TT. But, if your sick and tired of political correctness and can laugh at yourself as easily as others enjoy!
For more Tropic Thunder goodies like TV clips, cast and crew info & wallpapers go to