Dr. Venkman Reviews: 'Tropic Thunder'

by Joey Paur

I jumped off the Ben Stiller train awhile back. There was a point where the guy just wasn't funny to me anymore, and he had 4 or 5 movies coming out within a 2 month period. There was just to much unfunny Ben Stiller comedy going around and I was done. When I heard he was doing another movie called Tropic Thunder I just really didn't care. As time went on I saw an amazing cast being built, the previews and film clips that came out for it all of these forces combined sold me on seeing this movie. Everything looked like it was going be pretty good and pretty funny.

I am here to tell you that this movie blew the hell fire and damnation right out of me! I am back on the Ben Stiller train! As long as he keeps making good movies like this. I had a blast watching Tropic Thunder! From beginning to end I was hooked on the story, the characters, the comedy especially. I didn't laugh occasionally while watching this movie I laughed non stop through the whole thing. I wrote a recent review on ‘Pineapple Express' and said that was the best comedy of the year so far. Well "so far" didn't last to long because Tropic Thunder was a much better film and comedy than Pineapple Express. I don't want to compare the 2 films because they are both great for what they are, I just enjoyed Tropic Thunder much more, and it was a smarter movie.

Tropic Thunder starts out with the fake movie previews for the characters in the movie. All of these of which were funny as hell, but it was Robert Downey's movie preview that just got me rolling all over the sticky popcorn infested movie theater floor. When you see you will die. There is a great cameo in this that I don't want to give away, but you will enjoy it.

The movie starts out with all of these huge movie stars making a big budget Vietnam war movie. There are big ego's on the set and Ben Stillers character Tugg Speedman can't bring on the tears for a certain scene in the movie. It gets so bad that they have only been in production for 5 days, but they are a month behind schedule. The director of the movie Damien Cockbun played by Steve Coogan is having a had ass time trying to keep it together. This pisses off the President of the studio Les Grossman played by Tom Cruise, and they have a little meeting where Les Grossman throws a raging fit to find out what the hell is going on and to get things back on track or he will shut the production down. The solution to the problem comes from the author of the Tropic Thunder Book being made into a movie For Leaf Tayback played by Nick Nolte. The solution is to put these pansy ass actors into the real shit and learn the hard way what its like to be a real soldier and go through real hell. So they set up the jungle with cameras and explosives to make the experience real for the actors. Well it got real will the Vietcongs found them.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is actually at this point (SPOILER ALERT) when the director drops off the actors in the zone. He gives them a fun bad ass motivational speech, and as soon as he is done he steps on a land mine and blows up! What is so damn funny about this is Tugg thinks the whole thing is fake. I am laughing as a write this because it is just a crazy scene. Kirk Lazerus played by Robert Downey Jr. knows something isn't right as Tugg picks up Damiens head and starts sticking his fingers in it and licking the blood off them as he says "See its just corn syrup, blood tasting corn syrup" then he holds up the heads and licks it as bloody stuff falls out. The reaction on everyone's face is great and the scene is incredibly funny.

The Characters in this film were awesome and you couldn't ask for better actors to play them.

Tugg Speedman is the big action star that is kind of loosing his flame. This movie he is making is a chance for him to reinvent himself. He is clueless to what is going on throughout most of the film. Ben Stiller is great as this character because it is a Ben Stiller character. He doesn't do anything you haven't seen before.

Jeff Portnoy is the comedian that makes the stupid movies involving fat people and farts. Tropic thunder is a way for him to show that he can do more than just fart jokes. He is also a heroine addict and has to deal with recovering from it when he looses is stash during the craziness. Jack Black is also great in this role, he has his moments.

Kirk Lazarus is the serious Australian actor. The guy has won all the awards. Tropic Thunder is allowing him to push the envelope by playing a black man. Robert Downey Jr. steals the show. He is by far the best part of the movie. He is amazing in the role, is their anything this guy can't do? Every time he was on screen you could help but laugh because he was so damn funny.

Everyone else in the movie was at the top of their game. Jay Barucel as Kevin Sandusky, Brandon T. Jackson as Alpa Chino, Steve Coogan as Damien Cockburn, Danny Mcbride was great as Cody, Nick Nolte as Four Leaf Tayback was crazy as hell.

Then there were the cameos all of which were amazing. Matthew Mconaughey as Rick Peck, Speedmans agent. I am not a big fan of Matt but he did a good job. Bill hader was funny as Studio executive Rob Slolom. Then there was Tom Cruise as Les Grossman and he was amazingly funny! This is the best thing he has done in a long time. They guy went all out and held nothing back he just let that character loose on the world and he was great. I would love to see him do some more comedy.

Ben Stiller directed this film and I have to say he did an absolutely fantastic job. He did some great things with this movie.

Tropic Thunder was balls out awesome, a classic comedy. This movie is going to be hard to beat. I honestly think this movie will be the funniest comedy of the year. I looked ahead to see what else was on the horizon and I don't see any other comedy that looks like it will top this movie.

The movie is bloody as hell, a funny ass comedy, a great story, has great performances, and tons of action. It doesn't hold back and it defiantly does not disappoint. You are going to have a great time watching this movie!

- Dr. Venkman

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