Friday, August 15, 2008
MOVIE REVIEW - "TROPIC THUNDER"
When a group of popular actors embarks upon a controversial Vietnam War movie they are thrown unawares into a real jungle warzone! This whole movie is a hilarious satire on Hollywood, actors, and what the business of movies in general, has become. Director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), unsatisfied with the films progress and his constant berating by the films producer Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), decides to take the crew out of the studio and into the jungle to film the rest of the movie when everything goes horribly wrong and the whole cast encounters a Cambodian opium ring and has to fight their way out with fake guns and no catering!
Ben Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, a popular action star whose dwindling action career after a string of over the top action "Scorcher" movies and one serious drama as a "retarded" farmhand leads him to portray John "Four Leaf" Tayback (Nick Noltes alter ego) a supposed Vietnam War hero who whose book about his heroic efforts and the "alleged" loss of his hands. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Kirk Lazarus, a talented, Oscar-winning, Australian actor known for his highly controversial parts and his deep commitment to his roles, plays Sgt. Osiris, but in order to play this role he transforms himself with surgery and make-up to become black/African-American, and never breaks character! Jack Black plays Jeff "Fatty" Portnoy, a drug-addicted excess driven comedian/actor known for his movies "The Fatties". Brandon T. Jackson plays hip-hop entertainer turned actor Alpa Chino, who makes millions of his product endorsements.
Both Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Stillers' characters are the epitome of this films pop-culture satire as Downy plays the actor who will do anything to win an Oscar and Stiller as the actor that becomes so type-casted as a character that he cannot escape it and ruins his life and career forever. With an all-star cast, this movie, despite its initial negative criticism, is not just some fun comedy, it has a profound underlying criticism of Hollywood and celebrities.