Friday, June 11, 2010

Offensive Comedy and Blowing Shit Up

Well, I'm back...and its only been a few day delay.  You'll excuse my laxness in getting this newest post out on the net, but I've been very very lazy this week and I haven't been watching a lot of action lately...I've been more into watching comedy and horror, so after today I'm gonna go back to writing about whatever strikes my fancy.  I think writing towards a theme is nice for a week, especially when you're dealing with a series or something, but I'd much rather just go wherever my mind takes me.  That said, I still like to keep a certain amount of regulation about my posts.  I never write about anything I haven't recently watched, or about things that haven't really happened.  I mean, I could write about daydreams I have and fantasies I entertain...but that's a little more than I want to put on the internet.  After all, my mother reads I need to keep it clean (I think she's gonna get a kick out of that by the way).  Anyway, today I'm going to talk about something I just saw for the first time and I've been meaning to see since its release in 2008.  It looked completely irreverent and exciting, and had some actors involved that I really like.  So yesterday, I picked it up from the library and gave it a spin.  Truly, I wish I had picked it up earlier and I'm actually feeling like owning it.  So, lets not beat around the bush any longer...lets dive right into Tropic Thunder.

The film opens with three fake trailers to advertise fictional films featuring the characters played by Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black and establishing their particular personalities and genres.  Stiller is the action hero (think Stallone or Schwarzenegger), Downey is the dramatic Oscar winner (like Russell Crowe), and Black is the dumb comedy star (like Eddie Murphey...or himself before King Kong).  Knowing this, we are introduced to the situation.  These three actors, opposites in every way, have been placed into the film version of a book called "Tropic Thunder" that tells the 'true' story of a soldier who fought in Vietnam.  The film is already behind schedule and over-budget after only 5 days of filming, and the producer (played by Tom Cruise) is threatening death and violence on all involved.  So the director, needing to do something drastic, takes the cast into the jungle where there are hidden cameras and pyrotechnics to scare them and work them into a controlled frenzy.  However, an accident gets the director killed and the men are suddenly thrust into a battle with opium dealers.  Suddenly, the experience is real and the men are fighting for their lives while hilarious and down-right 'wrong' humor carries us through.

I really liked this movie.  Yes it is offensive in many ways...for example, Downey Jr. is playing a white Australian actor who is cast as a black soldier...and he works in all the stereotypes he can.  But its supposed to be offensive, that's the joke.  There's also quite a bit of gore, violence, and language in it that fairly earns this movie an honest R rating.  Of course, if we all decide to not take our children to see this...we can have a very adult good time.  Stiller's direction (yes, he directed this) is very effective and the script is a marvelous spoofing of the conventions of all kinds of film...not just the action/war genre.  Yeah, some of the spoofing is fairly obvious but much of it is also very witty and frankly, I've thought some of these things myself about the industry.  The actors do a wonderful job at selling the comedy and are mostly successful (there are a few jokes that made me groan) and the action and suspense all works too.  There's quite a lot of things blowing up and a lot of adrenaline pumping in some of the scenes, which is why this fits into the category of action.  However, this movie is much more likely to make you laugh than to thrill you.  But please, if you do go see this, make sure that you realize that this movie rivals "Family Guy" in terms of crude and irreverent.  But if those things make you laugh, then by all means watch this movie.  If not, then steer is not for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw this in the theatre. You're right on. I loved it and laughed out loud often! Love, Mom