Tropic Thunder (Stiller, 2008)


Maybe I’m numb from all the terrible American comedies released this year. How can any viewer go unscathed after the recent lineup of Baby MamaGet Smart, Zohan, Pineapple Express, and even Kung Fu Panda, those with blatant lack of vision, cohesiveness, and most notably laughs. Not to mention the countless Strange Wilderness‘ I’ve purposefully dodged. Apparently there’s plenty of lazy filmmaking to go around. So maybe this context lends Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder a striking advantage. A thunderous punch to Hollywood’s gluttonous gut, Tropic Thunder turns the film about filmmaking sub-genre into a gory, raucous, and hilarious romp through the jungle. Downey Jr., Stiller, and Black take the extreme version of their public images and cleverly unearth the humanity aching beneath the make-up and ego. Stiller defuses the illusion of stardom and celluloid by breaking these caricatures down in brutal ways. And Tropic Thunder, behind expert cameraman John Toll, feels like a vintage Vietnam War film that just happens to be a biting satire.

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