I never said the movies were going to be current, or movies I haven’t seen before. To be fair, I hadn’t seen Tropic Thunder since I was in high school and it’s currently on HBO Go so it was too easy.
Let’s get right into this.
My Synopsis: This is really hard for me to write without feeling like I’m doing coverage or a film school assignment. Alright Katrina, shut up. Uh. So. All these A-list douchebag actors come together to be in one movie, but the movie we are watching is about another movie being made. That movie is called Tropic Thunder. In the movie within a movie, the main characters are soldiers in the Vietnam War who are somehow separated from all of the rest of their platoon or whatever… Idk. These main characters are Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Junior, Jack Black, and then two lesser known actors who I don’t care to know the names of because they were clearly chosen to balance out the budget.
The director of the movie is directing his first ever feature film, which is funny because since it’s an action film the director is kind of irrelevant. He realizes he isn’t getting what he needs out of the actors so he throws the actors into the wilderness to make their acting “real.” The director drops them in the middle of the swamp lands and explains the plan, then he promptly steps on a REAL landmine and explodes into millions of pieces.
At this point the movie does become “real.” They accidentally landed in heroine making territory. Weeewooooo. The plot of the movie matters very little to why it’s so fucking hilarious. Instead of finishing off how it unfolds, let me just tell you why you should watch it.
Jacked Ben Stiller: Pretty weird seeing Ben Stiller with jacked biceps. Also where the fuck did he go? He hasn’t been in anything notable for YEARS. (I realize he was in Zoolander 2, I said NOTABLE.) He actually directed and wrote this movie which impresses me if it’s actually true. He’s always been good about laughing at himself and playing the pathetically hilarious character, but in this movie he reaches new levels as Tug Speedman the former action flick star. As controversial as “Simple Jack” was when this movie was initially released, as well as their rampant use of the “r-word” it was used to point out a flaw in Hollywood’s portrayal of mentally handicapped characters. If this movie weren’t well executed and well-written the part would have stood out as horrifying but the startling truth of it is helpful to point out. So if jacked Ben Stiller actually helped write this, good for him.
Robert Downey Jr: Robert Downey junior plays one of the black men in the platoon. In this weird inception situation, he plays an Australian blond man playing a black man. True to the common thread within the movie, this could have been SO OFFENSIVE, but it wasn’t received that way. The film lampoons actors who take themselves too seriously especially with “method acting” where they never break character. They used the other black platoon member to point out all of the Hollywood hypocrisy as well as the inaccuracies of the portrayal. Favorite part is when he starts speaking the Jefferson’s theme song in an emotional moment and gets called out for it.
Tom Cruise: I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder at Tom Cruise. He’s the fat, balding, studio head. He’s almost completely unrecognizable. At one point he gets on the phone to negotiate with the drug lords “Flaming Dragon” who captured Ben Stiller’s character and this happens then later this. Hearing Tom Cruise say “Hobo’s dick cheese” then later dancing to Get Back as the credits roll… Priceless. If you watch the movie for nothing else, watch for this.
This movie contains many startling truths about the way Hollywood operates. It’s obviously a satire but some of the portrayals that seem over-the-top are actually true to the way A-listers behave on set. I like that this movie knows how to use slapstick but also poignant commentary on celeb culture. My favorite thing about this movie though, is how SHITTY it could have been if one thing went wrong. Guess it didn’t.
My rating: Give it a watch if ya haven’t 🙂