Tropic Thunder Review

Tropic Thunder is the funniest movie so far this year.

I was able to see a digital screening of Tropic Thunder at USC on July 10th.  Immediately following the screening was a Q&A with the films producer Stuart Cornfeld, who provided some interesting insight behind the movies creation.

Due to be released August 15th, Tropic Thunder depicts a director who is having trouble making a war film with his superstar cast. His remedy: send his five staring actors to a remote location out of the country in an effort to help them get into character. Things get out of hand, however, and the five actors stumble upon some unfriendlies with no easy way back home.

“As far are the writing, some of the jokes were hits, while others were misses, but this is usually the case with over-the-top movies like Tropic Thunder. Not every joke will be funny to everyone, and most likely, the movie won’t be for everyone.”

At the beginning of the movie, trailers and commercials play that help provide some back story to the actors in the film. The first one was a little jaring to me, but the rest fairly funny and recieved a huge reaction from the crowd.

Some might assume the funniest actor in the film is Ben Stiller, but in fact it was Robert Downey Jr. who played Kirk Lazarus—an Australlian actor who has his skin color darkened to better play his African American character in the film they are making. “I know who I am! I’m the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude!” he says in the film.

Cornfeld mentioned in his Q&A that they got Downey Jr. to play this role by having an acclaimed make-up artist photoshop an image of the actor as an African American in the way the artist would actually do the make-up. This image was sent to Downey Jr. along with the script, and happily, he took the role.

The second funniest person in the film was surprisingly Tom Cruise who played a balding, hairy, fat studio exec. His role was suppose to be a surprise cameo, but paparazzi’s managed to get photos of him in costume last year.

Cornfeld mentioned to the audience at the screening that Cruise’s role was his own idea, as is some of the stuff he does in the film.

Ben Stiller and jack Black were both funny, but I wasn’t terribly impressed by either. Stiller plays a famous actor who made some bad acting choices in the past and tries to redeem himself at the wrong time. Black plays an overweight, drug-addict actor known for playing multiple roles in the same film (in a Nutty Professor kind of way).

Interestingly, Cornfeld mention a lot of actors turned down Black’s role, not wanting to play a fat actor. “What do you think you play in every other movie your in,” Cornfeld commented.

As far are the writing, some of the jokes were hits, while others were misses, but this is usually the case with over-the-top movies like Tropic Thunder. Not every joke will be funny to everyone, and most likely, the movie won’t be for everyone. If your a fan of Ben Stiller’s work though, and Zoolander is one of your favorite movies (it’s one of mine), they you’ll like Tropic Thunder. If your not a fan of Stiller’s work, still check this movie out. Comedy wise, it probably won’t get any better than this, this year.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 13th, 2008 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Movies, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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