Cert: 15 Runtime: 107 mins Director: Ben Stiller Cast: Robert Downey Jr,Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Brandon T.Jackson, Steve Coogan and Tom Cruise
I don’t read the script. The script reads me
Oscar nomianted for his role as Kirk Lazarus Downey Jr, stole this film for me (minus Tom Cruise) Sgt. Fourleaf Tayback (Nick Nolte) is the author of the international best seller “Tropic Thunder” detailing his accounts of the Vietnam War. Now that book has been turned into a movie. Directed by first time director Damian Cockburn (Steve Coogan), the film stars veteran action hero Tug Speedman (Ben Stiller), multi – character comedy actor Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), star of the “Fatties Fart II” , and three time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr) – fresh off his most recent Cannes film festival smash. Rounding out the cast is character actor Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) and rapper Alpa Chino (Brandon T.Jackson), who in his spare time, hawks an energy drink known as “Booty Sweat”. When filming the movie’s climactic scene goes horribly awry with a pyromaniac blowing up the Vietnamese jungle side off camera, the film’s director, with convincing from executive producer Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), and Sgt. Tayback himself, decide to take the film in a much different direction. Now shooting the movie guerrilla style, the actors are taken deep in the jungle. There, Cockburn is killed by a landmine, and Speedman is kidnapped by ruthless drug lords who are enamoured with his box office flop “Simple Jack”. The rest of the crew then has to band together to save Speedman – who are convinced they are a real army. Can they overcome their differences to become a real military unit, save Speedman, and win best picture? Or will they face the wrath of their hot headed, foul mouthed, executive producer?
I’ve noticed that most of the reactions I’ve gotten from people regarding this film were at one extreme or the other: they either love it or hate it. I’m surprised at some of the negative feedback I’ve read for this movie, seeing as I found it to easily be one of the funniest movies of ever. Every time I watch this film, I enjoy it more and more as I find something new to laugh at. I guess some people have a problem with the fact that the movie isn’t what most people are expecting. For those going to the film for a general spoof on war films, you’re barking up the wrong tree. While this movie does that to an extent, it’s primarily a satire of the Hollywood system and all those involved…self-centred actors, sycophantic agents, iron-fisted studio heads, etc. The humour in the film is derived from the clashing of these outlandish personalities and their need to overcome their petty insecurities and crutches to survive. Of course, the film does have plenty of the raunchy humour that’s expected, but a lot of the funniest moments come from the situations and the awesome performances.Seriously, this movies has one of the funniest casts I’ve seen in a while.
Ben Stiller (who also directed and co-wrote) is fading action superstar Tugg Speedman who sees this film as a means of reviving his career. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of Stiller’s work but this movie changed my opinion on that. Jack Black is Jeff Portnoy, an actor famous for multi-role, gross-out comedies and a heroin addiction. While a lot of people though Black’s role was pointless here, I thought he added some great moments (“Let’s do the yak…”). My personal favourite in the film is Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus, the award-winning actor who goes through a pigmentation-altering surgery to play the squad’s leader. Downey stole every scene he was in and was easily the funniest aspect of the movie with his character’s racial incompetence (especially when he got into it with Brandon Jackson’s Alpa Chino). The movie also has an awesome supporting cast, particularly Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Nick Nolte…Nolte’s was freakin’ awesome when he went nuts with the flamethrower. As one of my favourite comedies of all time, I’ve completely recommend watching Stiller’s film. Just make sure you know what you’re going into and watch it for what it is. As long as you can do that, this movie is hilarious (especially the director’s cut of the film). Everyone involved in this film did an awesome job and I really hope to see them all pull together in the future for further projects.