Friday, February 20, 2009

Pure Crap

A review of Tropic Thunder

It is possible to like Tropic Thunder. It is even possible to think that it's funny and hilarious. This will happen, however, if you are in (or below) Year 9 at school, of if your sides tend to split each time you hear the words ass, shit and motherfucker - which in Tropic Thunder are spelt out every three seconds like a Hollywood ode to Tourettes.

For the record, we're talking about a film that picked up a swirl of nominations and awards and one that features a star-studded cast with the likes of Ben Stiller (who also directed), Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black and even Steve Coogan. Which is why, as you sit down to watch it, expectations are fairly high.

Instead, the plot can be described as ranging from non-existent to weak. Its pillars are: loads of explosions (wow), Robert Downey Jr with his face painted black (as he plays a 'black man'- which is somehow intended as entertaining) and, last but not least, a copious amount of jokes about disability (with a reference to an imaginary 'retard' called Simple Jack at every moment, which prompted the protests of disability advocacy groups in the US). Note that this reviewer is not saying it's particularly politically incorrect or bad taste. We just fail to grasp how that's supposed to be funny.

Perhaps anxious to appeal to the 'playstation generation', the film is clipped to the extreme, coming across as if it was filmed at 200 miles per hour and with the longest shot tallying at half a millisecond.

Much more we can't say, except that, in spite of all the headlines depicting it as "funniest movie of the year", Tropic Thunder is possibly Ben Stiller's most disappointing film. If you're hoping to laugh like you did with Meet the Parents, The Heartbreak Kid, Along Came Polly or There's Something About Mary then don't say we didn't warn you.


Madam Miaow said...

No!!! You saw it? Did you learn nuthin' from the trailer?

Martin Parker said...

Thunder wants to make big money mocking big-money movie making.

It was so over done, crude, predictable, excessive, loud, and just stupid. I wanted to see it because the previews made it look funny, especially Robert Down Jr.

I always loved comedies that were on the tacky side, a little vulgar, and silly, but Tropic Thunder was just too much!

Also, I have laughed at politically incorrect humor at the expense of others, but this movie crossed the line in using the word retard. It wasn't intelligent enough to be a satire which would have made plausible to poke fun at sensitive topics.

Nothing like exposing your child to constant swearing, making fun of retards, and making killing funny.

Emma said...

The biggest pile of childish, lowest common denominator bollocks I've seen in years. What a waste of time!

Come on Stiller, buck your ideas up, what's going on?

Planet Me said...

You all seem to have completely missed the point. It's not about retards, its about actors who take roles as 'retards' in order to aim for an Oscar. The plot thin? I don't think so. If you want to watch truly awful comedy aim for nonsense like "Meet The Spartans", "I'm The Guy Who Shags A Pie", and - compared to the usual jumpcutting of action movies (Hello Quantum Of Solace!) the editing and speed is actually fairly modest. If you think slapstick and comedies about bodily fluids are funny ("Something About Mary" is drivel and is the tedious "Meet The Parents" - DeNiro may be many things, but he's not and never will be funny), then perhaps this film is a little out of your taste range.

claude said...

I didn't like it.
Gave up after about 35 or 40 minutes, I can't remember.
The spoof trailers at the start are good but everything else I found extremely irritating.
A question of individual taste, I guess...which is the nature of films and music.