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September 1, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Tropic Thunder

Directed by Ben Stiller

Parody has been given a bad name recently. The constant stream of excrement poured out by members of the Scary Movie team has tarnished what used to be one of the most entertaining genres of film, but Zoolander Writer/Director/Star Ben Stiller is back to save the genre with his homage to the war film. Film critics, prepare your “war is hell” clichés and bad Apocalypse Now puns for a violent yet light hearted parody of the war genre and Hollywood itself.

As a send up of film industry stereotypes Tropic Thunder is far too half-arsed. But this is excusable thanks to the epic production work and broad physical comedy.

The film is filled with comedic talent (even though Steve Coogan is only in a few scenes and never really gets comfortable onscreen) but Robert Downey Jr outshines them all with his inate hilariousness and impressive yet strange proficiency for accents. He is believable, which is more than can be said for Ben Stiller, who appears a toned down Derrick Zoolander. Jack Black is Jack Black, and the cameos are at first fun but do get a tad grating: the fat suit clad Tom Cruise is a bit on the nose and the funniest part of his cameo is the irony of him playing a successful film executive only weeks before he was ‘relieved’ of his executive role at United Artists after a string of flops including Redford/ Cruise/Streep starrer Lions For Lambs.

Any talk of controversy (a single scene in which the phrase retard is repeated for ironic effect has been criticised by Americans who fulfill the old saying that ‘Americans don’t get satire’) should be ignored as the kneejerk reactions of petty, ignorant morons.

While it may not be a return to form for Stiller as a comedian, as a director it is a definite success. His skilful use of slapstick action and explosions mixed with humour and sarcasm makes the film. As a pure comedy it comes up a little short but as an action/comedy its one of the best in many years.


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Comments (4)

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  1. Retarded Baby says:

    Tom Cruise sucked so much ass in that movie. Jack Black was awesome.

  2. Simple Jack says:

    I was good too… right?

  3. Jackson Wood says:

    I went and saw this last night, and there were some Americans sitting in front of us. They were fucking annoying and hardly laughed the entire movie and kept saying shit like “What, I don’t get it?” and “Oh here it comes”, then going in and out of the cinema. I mean what the fuck.

  4. Dirty Larry says:

    That’s because Americans are assholes

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