Tropic Thunder Reviews
This is Stiller's Hellzapoppin' Apocalypse Now -- the ultimate fighting machine of comedies-about-the-making-of-movies. It's raunchy, outspoken -- and also a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions.
There are some wildly funny scenes, a few leaden ones and others that are scattershot, with humorous satire undercut by over-the-top grisliness. Still, when it's funny, it's really funny.
The Ben Stiller action-film parody Tropic Thunder is all over the map, but it's worth enduring the botched gags, formula plotting, and even the racism to marvel at the genius of Robert Downey Jr.
In the end Tropic Thunder is an expensive goof about an expensive goof, and the results are very impressive and fancy-looking....Too impressive, really, to fully unleash the humor in the situations.
The rest of the movie never lives up to the hilarity of the opening, partly because the large-scale production smothers the gags but mostly because those gags are so easy to smother.
Tropic Thunder is raunchy, raucous and riotously funny. But so acutely self-conscious that the effect is one of a stand-up comedian furnishing color commentary on his own act.
Stiller, Black and Jackson are all fine. Downey is great -- no surprise. Jay Baruchel, as a newcomer, holds the strained plot threads together, playing the only actor not so narcissistic that he can't see what's going on around him.