I have to admit, despite the positive buzz surrounding Tropic Thunder, I didn’t have high expectations. The movie proved to be quite entertaining, however.

Ben Stiller (who doubled once again as director), Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. all did a fabulous job skewering Hollywood and its ubiquitous stereotypes: the aging action hero who yearns for respect, the drug-addled funny fat man, the obsessed method actor. The movie also took square aim at Hollywood itself — ridiculing agents and studio heads with glee — as well as Tinsel Town’s hypocritical obsession with the mentally disabled.

Let’s face it. If an actor portrays a “challenged” individual, they know they’re a shoe-in for an Oscar nod, whether they deserve it or not. Despite the protestations of several advocacy groups, Tropic Thunder does not promote demeaning stereotypes and language about the mentally disabled. Just the opposite, in fact. When Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr.’s characters talk about “retarded” people, they are showing their own ignorance on the topic and playing into Hollywood’s hypocrisy. WHICH IS THE INTENT OF THE SCENE!!!! To make fun of the actors who portrays the mentally disabled, not the mentally disabled themselves.

Soapbox aside, there is a hysterically funny scene in which a character’s sexual orientation is revealed and Jack Black’s character makes a withdrawal-induced proposition that will leave you crying. I don’t usually like crude humor, but this was really funny.

And Tom Cruise. Oh. My. God. Tom Cruise’s performance is perfect on so many levels, especially if you’ve followed his bad press. I refuse to give away any more.

So if you’re old enough, go see Tropic Thunder. It’s worth the price of a movie ticket.


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