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Tropic Thunder (2008)

June 30, 2009

6/10 Progressive Blackface Jokes

The opening ten minutes is some of the funniest shit I’ve seen in ages, but after that, the laughs get kinda hard to come by.

Tropic Thunder is about a group of A-list actors who sign up to do a Vietnam War/action movie and end up sabotaging the whole production for various reasons. So when the director realizes he isn’t getting the desired results, he throws them all into the jungle, leading them on to believe that they are filming the movie when in fact they are all fighting actual guerrilla soldiers. Then things get hairy.

It’s like The Three Amigos, only way more offensive.

Nothing goes un-insulted (is that a word?) in this movie: gays, homophobes, blacks, whites, and a pretty funny but totally wrong running gag about the mentally challenged among other jokes in bad taste. God, I hope I don’t sound like a bigot saying that, but the movie is really at its funniest when it’s pushing the envelope going after what the audience holds sacred. But as it usually goes with these things, when it works, it really works, when it doesn’t, it bombs.

The jokes don’t land as often as they should, there’s too much down time in between gags, and since the opening scenes had my sides aching right off the bat, it makes the silence of missing laughs that much more noticeable as a result.

And maybe I just wasn’t listening, but I couldn’t understand half of what Robert Downey Jr. was saying in this movie. How he got an Oscar nod for this, I do not know. Maybe it was penance for ignoring the awesome job he did in Zodiac a couple years back (great movie, go see it).

So the story is nothing new, it’s not as funny as it could have been, and all the actors involved have done better things in their career when it comes to comedy…except for one man. Tom freakin’ Cruise.

Yes, Tom Cruise is in this movie. He’s not on the poster and the studio didn’t publicize his involvement whatsoever, but he’s got a pretty big role that’s way outside his typical range and, amazingly enough, he’s hilarious. Can’t give away too much because that’s kind of the draw, but he’s a definite saving grace to the movie and he deserves some serious props for pretty much stealing the show from the three lead actors.

My suggestion: rent Tropic Thunder and watch it with a six-pack at your side. It’s not the funniest movie of 2008, but it has its moments and there are still a handful of cameos from some big-time actors that I haven’t mentioned who make it worth the time.

At the very least, go and YouTube “Tropic Thunder fake trailers” so you can see the opening scenes without having to dish out five bucks and a slot on your Netflix queue.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 4:46 pm

    Yeah this movie wasn’t as hilarious as I expected the jokes could’ve been less dirty and offensive. Also Stiller and Black were not as funny as they have been in previous films and most of this is a parody on big-time Hollywood but it’s not a very good one.

  2. June 17, 2010 9:29 pm

    Liked it a little more than you, but had to agree with what you said. Check out mine here:

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