Tropic Thunder

2008_tropic_thunder_001 TROPIC THUNDER

GRADE: B+

Tropic Thunder is a subtle comedic smash hit. Not only did it dethrone the Dark Knight in it's opening week, but it's an intelligent comedy. Yes, it carries traits of director-writer-actor Ben Stiller's sometimes stupid and silly slapstick, but it's also a much deeper, darker and more clever comedy than Stiller has been a part of in many years.

Anyone who has seen their fair share of war movies will appreciate Tropic Thunder's homages and comical references. To name just a few of the films parodied – Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Rambo.

Tropic Thunder goes the extra mile by introducing it's characters in one of the most original concepts in years. The film is filled with wonderful cameos and bit part – particularly Tom Cruise, who may have single handily revived his career with this role.

There has been news floating around the web discussing parts of the film that may upset certain viewers. In a previous post on this blog, I mentioned one of the arguments. Most recently, criticism has arisen over a movie in the movie called Simple Jack, about a mentally challenged man living on a farm. The discussion of this aspect of Tropic Thunder is worthy of another post of discussion – but it does play a key role in the film.

The film succeeds on a grand scale, although audiences won't be laughing as hard as Stiller's past movies. Tropic Thunder is a welcomed break to stupid and brainless comedies pumped out by studios these days. Its a movie worth watching, especially for war movie fans.

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