Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Ah, summer where did it go? Many look to the changing of the leaves to signify the end of yet another lazy-hazy summer. But not me, because even though I'm no longer in school I'm still a kid who gauges summer by the movies. Last night me and Leah went to the last midnight screening for a big-deal summer flick. A superhero movie? Believe it or not...no, it was a comedy (apparently Hollywood can still make other kinds of movies after all).
It would be downright criminal of me to spoil TROPIC THUNDER's enormous cameo-list. Suffice to say: the film is packed, wall-to-wall, with the stars. Since it's the films worst-kept secret, I will say that Tom Cruise is hilarious as a bald, fat, maniacal studio executive. The admission price alone is worth it just to see his "victory dance." Other than Cruise, the film is Robert Downey Jr.'s show (what a summer that guy's had). Much has been made of his "blackface" portrayal...it's a hilarious attack on method acting that is anything but racist. In fact, the entire movie is one big-ass/guns blazing attack on the ludicrous world of La-La-Land itself. Anyone thinking TROPIC THUNDER is a war movie is dead wrong (pun intended). That Ben Stiller (co-star, co-writer, and director of the film) would make such a send-up of his profession AND STILL GET SO MANY A-LIST ACTORS TO CAMEO is a credit to how likable/how many friends Stiller must have in the biz.
While not a complete, wall-to-wall "yuk fest" like many reviewers led me to believe it was, TROPIC THUNDER's humor is consistently funny and highly unpredictable (which is good because the plot is predictable as hell--if you've seen the classic Martin/Short/Chase comedy THREE AMIGO'S, you'll be able to guess what's going to happen next). Unlike many comedies, the fun isn't in the situation but how the characters react to that situation.
The only aspect of this film that disappointed me was Jack Black (who apes both Eddie Murphy and Jim Belushi). With so many quick cameos, and the Stiller/Downey main plot, I felt like Black was reduced to the background one too many times. The guy could have been much funnier than the script allowed. Despite this missed opportunity, TROPIC THUNDER is the year's best comedy (so far). Check it out, and don't forget to enjoy all those 'splosions.