Tropic Thunder

May 22nd, 2008 at 8:48 am

Have you seen the trailer to Tropic Thunder?

Go ahead and watch it.

Tropic Thunder Poster

Wow. How long was that trailer? The actual movie can’t be much longer….

And how postmodern. A movie about a movie making a movie. Movie stars playing movie stars. Cliches of cliches. Pastiche of pastiche.

Hollywood is an incestuous, vain beast. I think you can actually get a glimpse of Hollywood bending over to suck its own dick in that trailer. What depressed me the most is that Hollywood clearly knows how depraved it is and glorifies itself in self-serving, self-fulfilling doggerel like this.

Self-satire? Self-mockery? I’ll have to wait and see it to decide how “smart” it is, but judging from Zoolander, Stiller will probably hit it out of the park. But how can he so blatantly allude to Platoon and Apocalypse Now when those are classic, universally praised movies that don’t pander to the low-brow, obtuse perspective that Tropic Thunder seeks to criticize?

Too bad Owen Wilson had to go and try to kill himself. He would have been good in that role. I’m sure he’ll be stellar in the adaptation of Marley & Me too. And for further irony, the director/writer Ben Stiller, selflessly stepped in to take on the starring role in Wilson’s absence. Woohoo. Just the kind of behavior of a Hollywood-type that he mocks in the movie.

A few more thoughts:

Robert Downey Jr. is quite possibly Brilliant. He looks exactly like Don Cheadle. Are we sure that isn’t actually Don Cheadle?

Robert Downey Jr.’s character undergoes a “controversial” operation to make him actually look like a black person. He then proceeds to spout Ebonics and display black stereotypes and prejudices. Which would have been a daring move on the movie’s part to project something so potentially offensive, but they sugarcoat it by having a black co-star present to authentically point out the blunders and mistakes. Too safe. It would have been far more impressive to let Downey’s character writhe about alone in his awkward mess. Especially since Jack Black’s character prominently mocks the franchises of Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. And this after Jack Black went black face for Be Kind Rewind.

Seems a bit racialist.

And isn’t it rather odd in a time of war that this is the movie that Hollywood makes? We haven’t even had a decent movie analyzing the 1st Gulf War (Jarhead? Three Kings?), much less one that properly addresses the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we still don’t have one. Instead we have this farce, Tropic Thunder. Which is fine. It’ll be funny and done well enough, but why can’t Hollywood spend just as much time criticizing and analyzing the world as it does itself?

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