Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tropic Thunder

I took a couple of days of leave off work to care for Maddie as she's currently on school holidays. We've had fun hanging out together and playing the Wii Santa gave our family for Xmas (for the record Maddie kicks my butt at most Wii games).

Anyway, my father-in-law wanted to take Maddie to the movies today to see Hotel for Dogs. As they would be going out for a few hours I decided to treat myself to a DVD from our local video shop (it was $2 Tuesday for new releases). I'd had a pretty productive morning already (gardening, house cleaning, dishes, clothes washing) so took some time off to rent and watch Tropic Thunder.

I had reasonably high hopes for this satirical action/comedy film which stars Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr and Jack Black as actors filming a Vietnam war movie. While I found some parts of the movie funny, overall I was a little disappointed. I have to say that Robert Downey Jr was very good as the Australian actor playing an African/American soldier. The appearance of Tom Cruise playing the foul-mouthed studio exec just turned me off. The make-up on Cruise was great but his acting (voice and mannerisms) felt like he was just being Tom Cruise, and Tom Cruise scares and creeps me out.

The plot felt vaguely familiar and I guess this isn't a surprise as it's been done to death in countless action films (which is the point of the movie). However, the comedy of people believing that real life situations are actually a movie, now where has that been done before? Oh yeah, that reminded me a lot of Bowfinger which sort of has the reverse situation and which I found ultimately to be the funnier movie.

I like Stiller's work, and while I did somewhat enjoy Tropic Thunder, I still feel his best comedic work (and one of the few films that has literally brought tears of laughter to my eyes) has been There's Something About Mary.

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