Tropic Thunder

August 15, 2008

Author – Rish Arhant-Sudhir

Tropic Thunder is a phenomenal summer comedy with some great bits of action. If you want to laugh the whole time, you may want to see Pineapple Express, but for an all around better movie, Tropic Thunder is the perfect choice.

Ben Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, a washed out action star who has only found success with his “Scorcher” series. He recently portrayed a character call “Simple Jack” in the film which spawned many protests regarding the film’s lack of respect for the mentally challenged. Although this issue could have been handled more delicately by the makers of the film, it was from my understanding, attempting to make fun at the ignorant stars who think like the characters in the film.

Jack Black portrays Jeff Portnoy, a comedian who, from what the audience can tell, is only getting laughs from his “The Fatties” series which are flatulent comedies staring only Jeff Portnoy in rubber suits. Jack Black pulls off some great jokes with finesse as always.

Robert Downey Jr. has a great performance as Kirk Lazarus, the 5-time academy award winning Australian actor who takes on the role of an African-American man. He not only portrays an African-American man well but also delivers a particularly good Australian accent. Downey pulls of the role hysterically and once again stepped outside the box.

Brandon T. Jackson has some great one-liners throughout the movie and is quite funny as rapper Alpa Chino. Jay Baruchel is just alright as Kevin Sandusky, the only actor who was committed to his part, although he has great chemistry with the rest of the cast members. Danny Mcbride’s talent was wasted. Nick Nolte is good as the real Four-Leaf, author of the novel Tropic Thunder. Steve Coogan is in the movie less than you may anticipate. Bill Hader is barely in it. Brandon Soo Hoo, Reggie Lee, and Trieu Tran are marvelous as the members of the flaming dragon.

There were many cameos in the film including Tobey Maguire, Jon Voight, Alicia Silverstone, and Jason Bateman. Matthew McConaughey is great in his role as Rick Peck, Tugg Speedman’s agent. Tom Cruise steals the show as the dancing studio executive, Les Grossman.

Tropic Thunder is not the likes of The Dark Knight, by far, although it is good for more than a few laughs. Although it has its flaws, Tropic Thunder is successful in entertaining the audience throughout.