Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, and Jack Black
Run Time: 1hr 47 mins
In the weeks leading up to the release of “Tropic Thunder,” the movie certainly garnered it’s fair share of negative attention. The film was criticized for the way it was promoting itself, a controversy surrounding a website that was based upon a “movie” that was referenced in the film itself. The “movie” was called “Simple Jack” and it was basically a mock of “Forrest Gump” that starred Ben Stiller’s character. The site was criticized, called demeaning to people with mental handicaps. In addition to that controversy, many people were up in arms about Robert Downey Jr playing an actor who got so involved in portraying his characters that he underwent a pigment change so he could play an African American Sargent. Downey Jr basically spent most of the movie in black face. He definitely gets into character! To quote Downey’s character Kirk Lazarus: “I don’t drop character till I do the DVD extas!”
So with all of the negativity and controversy surrounding the film, you would think that it would flop once it hit the theaters. Well, it didn’t, and I can tell you why. “Tropic Thunder” was just plain funny! The whole movie was hilarious. Laugh out loud, I was in tears! Let me give you a brief description of the movie. “Tropic Thunder” is a movie about actors trying to film a realistic war movie. It’s essentially a spoof of Hollywood and big budget action flicks. The movie starred Ben Stiller as Tugg Speedman, an action film star who has seen his Hollywood star plummet in recent years. Think Jean Claude Van Damme. He is basically the lead of the fake movie, as well as the real one. Confused yet? Let me keep trying! Robert Downey Jr was the real star of “Tropic Thunder.” He played Kirk Lazarus, an academy award winning actor who gets deep into character. Downey Jr’s performance as Lazarus was absolutely fabulous. He alone was worth the price of the DVD. His character, a seasoned Hollywood vet, got to utter some of the best lines in the film. “They found me in an alley in Burbank, trying to re-enter the Earths atmosphere in a refrigerator box.” That was one of my favorites. Another classic was “It’s okay. It’s Hollywood. Everyone’s gay at some time.” The film also starred Jack Black as the very forgettable Jeff Portnoy, an actor famous for his violent encounters with the media as well as his movies, in which he dons “fat suits” and farts on screen to get laughs. This bunch of Hollywood talent set out to film the worlds greatest, most expensive war movie. Along the way, they stumbled into a real life war zone. They unknowingly trekked into dangerous territory, risking life and limb to save Tugg. Ultimately, the experience that the actors had paralleled the movie they were trying to film in the first place. It ties up rather nicely. Trust me, it all makes sense on screen!
I’m sure if you’ve heard much of anything about this movie, you have heard about Tom Cruise and his cameo in the film. And it is true, he was fantastic! In fact, the film had several really great cameo’s, and they surely made the film better. Have fun spotting them. Everyone says Tom Cruise could have re-launched his film career with that cameo. I don’t know if I would go that far, but he was very very good. Also, the movie was full of jokes that were not featured in tv clips and trailers, so fear not about checking out this movie, you haven’t seen the best yet! Save for a very boring performance by Jack Black, the film was a comedy masterpiece. It simply couldn’t have been done without the actors, except for Mr Black, everyone in this film deserves a bit of the credit. I highly recommend that you watch this film, and keep an eye out for those cameos!
I purchased the Blu-ray Unrated Directors cut of the film. The two-disc Director’s Cut contains several featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, and video rehearsals. I highly recommend you pick up this version, as the deleted scenes and alternate ending was fantastic. Definitely worth the extra cash. I’ve seen both versions, and I can honestly say this edition is noticeably funnier! Do yourself a favor and check out the DVD now! If you collect classic comedies like me, you must BUY this. If not, there honestly is not much re-watch value, so you may want to just rent. But either way, see this movie!