Went to see Tropic Thunder last night, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
Not that it’s a great movie really: the story is pretty daft and loses its way a couple of times. In essence a bunch of primadonna Hollywood actors get together to film a Vietnam war movie, but when things go wrong (caused mainly by their selfish tantrums and posing) they end up fighting real baddies while still believing that the movie is being shot with hidden cameras in the trees.
So, why then, if the movie itself is less than great, can I not get it out of my head. Well, it’s down to two of the individual performances.
Robert Downey Junior plays an Australian method actor (not at all unlike Russell Crowe) who blacks up for the war movie and is then unable to come out of character, so he ends up playing a hackneyed stereotype of a black character for the whole film. A role made all the funnier by the dialog between him and the movie’s “real” black actor.
Les Grossman is played superbly by Tom Cruise: a cameo role that is so cameo that Tom doesn’t even feature in the star list. Cruise plays Grossman as an overweight, balding (but hairy everywhere else) egomaniac with no scruples and is a sight to behold.
The movie’s main stars are Ben Stiller (who also directs) and Jack Black. They both put in creditable performances but are completely upstaged by Downey Jr and Tom Cruise. The movie is pretty good fun with some great dialog and laugh out loud bits scattered through it, but the best bits are right at the beginning (with a bunch of fake movie trailers to introduce us to the “stars'” past hits) and right at the end with Less Grossman doing a dance routine in his office that has to be seen to be appreciated.
Go see it. It’s fun.