War Games: Review for “Tropic Thunder”

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Tropic Thunder is the story of stereotypes in the movie nusiness. Robert Downey Jr. does a terrific job as method actor Kirk Lazurus, this time playing a black guy. Before production, he went under skin pigmentation. Kirk is like Daniel Day-Lewis on crack. Kirk has five Oscars and is from Australia. Jack Black plays an actor who has gained his fart-une from the comedy franchise The Fatties. Due to his films lacking in any real significance, he often gets high off heroine. Ben Stiller plays the action hero actor Tugg Speedman, whose Scorcher franchise (six films in all) is burning out. All these character represent wonderful stereotypes in Hollywood. As I have just written, you have the Method Actor, the Comic, and the Action Hero. Their next film is Tropic Thunder, the story of a brief battle in Vietnam written by a mysterious and handless guy named Four Leaf, who is played by a hilarious Nick Nolte. During the first couple weeks of production, news is making that the director (Steve Coogan, Hamlet 2) can’t handle the responsibilities of a big budget film. Access Hollywood has a brilliant mock news story that appears. So to make things easier, he just sends out his main actors in the woods on location, where they stumble upon drug “factory” somewhere in Asia. What they believe is a set filled with actors and extras turns out to be their worst nightmare. The film is a homage to those Vietnam war films of the 1980s, like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. It’s also a loving message to the film industry, complete with whiny actors, impatient directors, and evil studio executives (a spectacular Tom Cruise). It even has fake movie trailer for the lead actors! It’s a really great film with funny dialogue (“I’m a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!”) and top notch acting. Robert Downey Jr. is awesome as the method actor so closely resembling Day-Lewis, who is a very serious method man (Fun fact: Day-Lewis mastered knife throwing for his role in Gangs of New York). A very funny film with a great cast!

Grade: A-  

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