Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.
Release Date: August 13th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.
Distributors: DreamWorks Pictures
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Jay Baruchel, Nick Nolte
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Produced by: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld
Synopsis: A group of self-absorbed actors set out to make the most expensive war film. But after ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter real bad guys.
Featuring an all-star comedy cast Tropic Thunder is a parody of Hollywood itself and its big budget war movies. Even in “blackface” and in such a silly film you can see just how talented an actor Robert Downey Jr. is. I placed the term blackface in quotes because in the movie Downey’s character is supposed to have undergone a procedure so he can play a black character. Many people had some reservations about it coming into the film but having seen it I don’t feel it was done in poor taste nor offensive. Ben Stiller is full stupidity mode as in films like Dodgeball or Zoolander, and Nick Nolte has a surprising and amusing roll.
I’m not really sure why the critics seem to be so unanimously in love with this movie but perhaps such high praise tainted my expectations and consequently my review. Overall Tropic Thunder was funny and it was a well put together movie for a comedy, but I found it to be lacking in pure laugh-out-loud moments. This is probably a result of the fact that the movie is a not completely silly and slack stick, to some degree it tries to be an intelligent comedy. Tropic Thunder isn’t 90 minutes of my life I wish I could have back but I probably wouldn’t want to see it again either.
Overall Grade: C+