Ben Stiller’s fifth directorial role and he has a winner. This is in my opinion his best work since directing Reality Bites back in 1994. My hopes for Tropic Thunder were high as was the hype when the movie was released.
After I finished watching I could not be happier with all of the surprises I received from it. The casting had been top notch. While Ben Stiller, Jack Black held their own, actors Robert Downy Jr. and Tom Cruise were stealing the show along with a notable performance by Mathew McConaughey. Then there were the less known actors, Brandon Jackson who played Alpa Chino and Jay Baruchel who played Kevin Sandusky each were great in their roles.
Stiller plays a struggling actor (Tugg Speedman) whose last movie series role as Scorcher started out great, then upon the latest installment Scorcher VI Global Meltdown was a complete bust (as was the previous five installments). The role Speedman plays is John “Four Leaf” Taybac, whose story is one of military heroism and honor. While filming the movie Speedman is taken captive by the heroin-producing gang called the Flaming Dragon. Once he is captive, they recognize him and make Speedman perform the only VHS movie they own called Simple Jack, over and over again. While the performances ofSimple Jack are going on, the Flaming Dragon gang has contacted Speedmans people to ask for a ransom. This is where the antics of Tom Cruise playing Les Grossman the studio head, took over. Cruise was a surprise in this comedic role and did a very good job at it.
The supporting cast for Speedman in the Tropic Thunder movie was Kirk Lazarus played by Downey. In this role Lazarus is an Australian actor who is playing a black actor who undergoes a surgey to make him black for the role. Downey for me was the highlight of the cast. Another actor in the Tropic Thunder movie was Jeff “Fatty” Portnoy played by Jack Black. Portnoy was successful for his role in The Fatties part 1 and 2. Portnoy while trying to assist in the rescure of Speedman lets the others know of his heroin dependency. Another actor in the Tropic Thunder movie was Alpa Chino (pronounced Al Pachino) who is a rapper turned actor whose latest success were the drink called “Booty Sweat” and a candy bar called “Bust-A-Nut”. Mathew McConaughey plays Speedman’s agent, whose name is Rick “Pecker” Peck. His name says it all about this character.
Overall I would recommend Tropic Thunder to all who are fans of the darker comedy genre.