Watched Tropic Thunder on Sunday.
I really enjoyed it.
I mean, Robert Downey Jr. is just… I gotta tell ya, I think he’s the greatest actor of our time. I really believe that. I know my Greatest Actor list is…well…weird… but so am I. (1. Robert Downey Jr. 2. Johnny Depp, forgive my hormones, but I still think he’s really good 3. Cary Grant, 4. Roy Scheider, watch All That Jazz and then argue with me 5. Robert Mitchum, 6. Ian McKellan, 7. Christopher Guest, 8. Paul Rudd, 9. Gregory Peck, 10. ROck Hudson, 11. Gene Kelly, 12. Robert Redford, 13. Clark Gable, 14. George Clooney, 15. George C. Scott, 16. John C. McGinley, 17. Greg Kinnear, 18. Richard Dreyfuss, 19. Paul Newman, 20. Montgomery Clift…if there were a 21. It would be Peter Sellers.) I have an actress list, but it doesn’t apply here.
Now, back to the movie. There were parts that made me laugh less than I thought I would, and there were parts wherein I had to rewind because I was laughing so hard that I missed the following lines.
And yes. I listened to the commentary. I usually don’t, but I did. I will say that Jack Black ruminating to Robert Downey Jr. on his lack of experience with withdrawal was…slightly uncomfortable…
Here’s the thing: the Vietnam movie genre was ripe for a satire and Tropic Thunder delivers, as does Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey and surprsingly, Tom Cruise! Despite all my nausea and skepticism toward the icon….the actor nailed it. His instincts with this role were just spot on and impressive.
That’s the thing. This movie made me like actors I didn’t used to like, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise…Okay, Nick Nolte and Tom Cruise. Yes, I already liked McConaughey. So sue me. He knows how ridiculous he is. He has to!
I’m not a huge Stiller fan in the sense that some of his schtick gets old really fast, but when he’s on, he’s on. Mostly, in this film, he’s on. I do wonder how it would have turned out if he just directed and let someone else play the lead, but in that this was an ongoing project for 20 years, that’s fairly moot.
There’s definitely some insider humor, i.e. I got the acting jokes and I can only assume that pyrotechnics guys on set probably really look like that. I just bet they do.
While it’s evident that the script was heavily improvised, that’s not a bad thing considering some of the gems that emerged (My personal favorite, Jack Black’s aggravated, “I fucking hate movies.” I’ve definitely had one eyelash glued to my cheek, my dance tights sliding off my legs, with an unbuckled character shoe all while in a kick line thinking, “I fucking hate theatre.” You don’t really mean it. Well you do. But you don’t.)
I never know how much plot line to blow when I’m psuedo reviewing. Especially when I’m pseudo reviewing something probably everyone has already seen (you see my weekends have been booked since August…)
I guess it comes down to this: you know who these actors are. If you like what they do, you will like this movie. And Robert Downey Jr. is always incredible. Just drop jaw incredible.