Tropic Thunder goes out into the jungle with a few good jokes
The characters in Tropic Thunder are making a Vietnam war film, but it's not going very well. So the director sends them out into the jungle to do some 'guerilla style acting'. When the camera crew loses them and a real jungle gang turns up, some of them don't realise the filming is over. That's the premise anyway, and for the first half an hour it's very funny.The shooting of the film in a film is full of ideas, and the satirical take on Hollywood actors works well. Robert Downey Jr. is especially good, playing a method actor who's so immersed in the role he's changed the colour of his skin. It promises imagination, but when they set off into the jungle it quickly runs out of steam. You realise that all the quick, funny jokes from the first part are actually integral to the plot. In a better comedy something like a fake trailer for 'Simple Jack' would only be mentioned once to make room for the next joke. Here they repeat it until it's boring. Tropic Thunder rests on a few funny ideas rather than throwing hundreds at you. The whole thing gets stuck on a few jokes and a few locations. I wanted it to zip along. In the end it becomes what it was parodying in the first place. Too afraid to blow any of the characters up, it all gets a bit boring. It's one of those American comedies where all the actors are Hollywood buddies, just getting their friends to come in and have a cameo. They assume they're funnier than they are. Tom Cruise dancing in a fat suit is not funny just because it's Tom Cruise dancing in a fat suit.
I might sound like I'm being too harsh, but only because I'm disappointed. It didn't live up to my expectations, which might have been too high in the first place. It's okay, but I wanted the inventive, satirical comedy that I was promised. This promise may have been something I just made up in my head. If this ever appears on television, watch the start and then do something else.