As the financial tsunami sweeps the world, nations can only take that many manifests before they clutch at their nearest life buoy, Tropic Thunder, a movie-making debacle at its best.
Who better to “save” the world now then this elastic threesome – Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr? Literally, I reckon, no one. Prepare for a ride pitted with pyrotechnical humour reminiscent of Meet The Parents from Ben Stiller as the narcissistic thespian, wisecracks from Kung Fu Panda Jack Black who has over puffed the magic dragon and Robert Downey Jr’s understated impersonation of a variety of African American silver screen greats, “Benson” among a few.
Tom Cruise’s impersonation of “Fat Bastard” from Austin Powers should do Mike Myers proud, maybe they were cousins from another world. There were moments when Cruise’s character, Les Grossman, rehashed the vociferousness of Jerry Maguire in “Show me the Money”, I almost wept for Cuba Gooding Junior’s much deserved Oscar. Ben Stiller as the hapless sulky Rambo probably made all the blood and sweat gone into the making of the actual Rambo sequel worthwhile, only to be spoofed decades later by a comedian, no less. Tropic Thunder, I must say, shows that war films can despite the senselessness of war, be humorous.
The script was also wit-laden in its jibes at the movie maker’s game plans to win the Holy Grail of Hollywood, the ever elusive naked man, bathed in gold. Who could keep a straight face in the face of the brilliant repartee between Downey Jr (Kirk Lazarus) and Brandon T Jackson (Booty Sweat King)? Anti-African American racism barbs got overturned overnight, in light of Downey Jr’s (Kirk Lazarus) show-stealing performance of a tortured soul of misplaced identities, again manifesting itself in yet another African American screen legend, “Bill Cosby” .
The movie had its cinematic minefields though, in the really lame and trying gang members and under-aged Flaming Dragon gang leader. His least endearing moments stemmed from his butchering of Mandarin and bad stunt routines. I just wish that somebody had sense to scrap this part of the script or even invent another lingua franca from Asia to repair the damage.
All in all, Tropic Thunder was a fair value-for-money temporal escape and I award the movie 3 out of 5 thunder claps, one clap each for Stiller, Black and (to me, the movie’s resident acting legend) Robert Downey Jr.
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