Tropic Thunder, and Summer 2008 Movies

Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder will probably be the last summer 2008 movie I see, and it was a fine one to finish with. Reviews were mixed, and PC advocates were up in arms (link from Morning News), but I found it a very silly, very funny film. Yes, it was big, loud, and often stupid. I don’t have a problem with that in a summer movie, because it also had sharp clever moments and was a lot of fun.

Stiller is a has-been action hero pining for prestige. Robert Downey, Jr. plays a method actor playing a black man, a double-layered performance that was dizzying to watch. And Tom Cruise is hilarious and mesmerizing as the balding, fat, profane studio head. His over-the-top dance sequence that caps the movie is a simultaneously disgusting and hilarious homage to his star-making scene from Risky Business.

Tropic Thunder
was one of many enjoyable movies this summer, most of which were a good blend of quality and entertainment. Things started strong for me with Iron Man, continued with Wall E, hit a high point with The Dark Knight, and still finished well with Hellboy II, Mamma Mia! and Tropic Thunder. I found all these films worth the price of admission, popcorn and Junior Mints.

2 Responses to “Tropic Thunder, and Summer 2008 Movies”

  1. Steph Says:

    I saw Tropic of Thunder at the local drive-in theatre (in a double-feature with Step-Brothers), and have to say I didn’t care for it. I don’t mind stupid-funny movies (I really liked “Dodgeball”, for instance), but I just found this one incredibly light on the funny and was bored by most of it. Downey Jr was good, but was unimpressed by everyone else (including Tom Cruise, who was much lauded in this role). I didn’t love Step-Brothers much either, but enjoyed it the most out of the two offerings that night.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I can easily imagine that this movie could go either way, good or bad depending on my mood, what I was expecting, etc. I was not expecting much, since I’d read bad reviews, but I wanted something dumb that would make me laugh a few times. Done, and done.

    What I really liked about the Cruise performance was that he was deliberately playing against type–his physically ugly, profane character was a sendup of his whole Tom Cruise persona, and I thought that demonstrated an ability to laugh at himself. I know I laughed at him.

    I haven’t seen Dodgeball. I’ll save that for a rainy day.