Friday, 15 May 2009
Dir: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr.
Apparently this film was picketed by mentally handicapped groups because of it's repeated use of the word 'retard'. Thankfully, they didn't get their way cos the funniest thing in Tropic Thunder is the in-film 'Simple Jack' - I'm sure you can guess the rest.
So much was made of Tom Cruise in this film, but NB found him to be annoying, and his dialog to be meaningless. Much more impressive was his sidekick, a Jim Belushi look-a-like (Bill Hader) who delivered some of the funniest lines of the film.
Robert Downey Jr. was also truly excellent. I wasn't expecting much from him, but his role as a black army sergeant is flawless - even when he breaks down and becomes a white man again.
Jack Black feels rather out of character and a bit awkward. Considering he does over-the-top better than anyone else in the world, you have to wonder why they didn't just let him off his leash to go wild. Instead he's quite restrained, although the line 'My ass!' should deservedly go down in cinema history.
Tropic Thunder as a film could have been so much better. Considering Stiller's films are all about overblown, over-the-top stupidity (plus a bit of satire) it can't be that hard to make them. I never thought anyone could learn anything from the Naked Gun series, but Stiller could still pick up some tips from that series when it comes to doing stupidity well.
For all that, it is rather funny, and had Narry B kicking up his heels with laughter in a few places. It's just a bit incosistent - like Starsky and Hutch, Zoolander, etc. etc.