Movie Views


Tropic Thunder


STARRING:  Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Brandon T. Jackson, Nick Nolte

RUNTIME:  1 Hour 47 minutes

RATING: R (pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material)

RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2008


Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. star in this action adventure comedy. The three lead an ensemble cast, which includes Tom Cruise and veteran actor Nick Nolte, in this film about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film ever. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where the real war starts.

As the cast goes from shooting a film to fighting a war, they remain actors first, holding true to their hilarious roles. There may be some content that offends some folks, as the producers seemed to want to push the envelope. And they did push it! But, it comes together really well. It's definitely not something you want to take the kiddies to, though. Tropic Thunder earns it's R rating, with extreme language and some gory scenes.

With so many stars featured in this film, I was surprised and disappointed that there were no big name black actors in the cast. Brandon T. Jackson, however, plays his role quite well. Actually, throughout the movie, I had to keep reminding myself that Robert Downey Jr. wasn't really black. He was totally into that role. I've seen some suggestion that his performance may be worthy of Oscar consideration. That's quite a follow up to what he did in Iron Man a few months ago.

This looks like it could be the breakout film for talented young actor Brandon T. Jackson. Jackson, a comedian from Detroit, who plays Alpa Chino, a take-off on actor Al Pacino's name, appears to really have an opportunity to show his stuff. Often considered comedian Chris Tucker's protege, Brandon has worked with Tucker, along with other notable comedy performers, including Wayne Brady. Jackson provides a true black perspective to compare to Robert Downer Jr's black act.

Comedies have had a tough time at the box office this year. We'll soon see if Tropic Thunder can buck the trend!


C. Hardin



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