The Sunbaked King

Tropic Thunder

BEHIND THE LINE

Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black

Speaking of being self-aware, Tropic Thunder premiered in theaters around three weeks ago. I watched it twice: the first time on a Friday with my officemates, and the second time the night after with my father and my bro. Now, in case you read my back-to-back movie excursion as a good omen, I’d like to throw you a curveball: one of my friends slept through the movie, and my father did the same thing, as well.

No worries, though. They were just tired.

Three weeks in and I’m still wondering how Ben Stiller did it. He co-produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in probably one of the funniest films of 2008. And that’s not even the most fantastic part. The best part? Stiller managed not to annoy. After Zoolander, Stiller has become more and more intolerable. I don’t know if it’s the characters he plays, or it’s just him. I’m leaning towards the latter. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing he made (and wrote and directed and starred in) this movie, or else he would have gone the way of the Unfunny Carrey.

Thanks to the writing of Stiller, Justin Theroux, and Etan Cohen, Tropic Thunder is a classic example of a parody done well. It comments on the absurdity of Hollywood war movies, and borrows scenes from the good ones, but as a whole, it still portrays a distinct, coherent film. A lot of the movies attempting to spoof other movies are just that– spoofs. Nothing makes sense. What these so-called movies offer is a hodgepodge of scenes that are distortions of their originals, created under the impression that the familiarity and the hilarity are enough. Guess what? Not every scene is familiar; not every joke is hilarious.

Of course, the film is not without its faults. I thought that Matthew McConaughey’s character was extraneous and could be removed; Nick Nolte was not utilized enough; and we should have had more endorsements of Alpa Chino’s Bust-A-Nut and Booty Sweat. But I’m just nitpicking. Despite its flaws, Tropic Thunder is one hell of a funny movie, and you would be one hell of a tropic blunder [not my words, but theirs] if you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.

P.S. By the way, you know how your friends tell you to stay in the theater until the credits are over because something awesome is going to happen after the credits roll? I suggest the same thing, only in reverse. Come early. Something awesome happens before the movie even starts.

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Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

2 Responses

  1. tristan says:

    oh, was that considered ‘before the movie’? that was great. epic. hahaha.

    bai, there was one point in the movie where we heard someone pass gas really loudly. we couldn’t figure out if it was jack black or someone to our 5 o’clock. there were other people giggling and i’m pretty sure the cinema wasn’t thx. btw, it wasn’t me.

  2. kerwinray says:

    Epic is the right word. And “before the movie” because I wanted to make it sound suspenseful. 🙂

    Haha, I hope he/she timed it at the same time Jack Black did it onscreen, para di masyado obvious.

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