Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hot and Muggy

Tropic Thunder is a weird conglomeration of a movie. It basically tries to be to Platoon what Airplane was to Airport. It has a lot of referential movie gags, but not enough; not in quantity or risibility. It also gives such a realistic presentation of jungle wars, as we have fought them on screen, that it touches our sad sensibilities of the real horror of war. References to such classics as The Bridge Over the River Kwai, come across not so much as parodies, but rather as respectful homages.

Eventually, it is an inoffensive, though only sporatically amusing time killer. A buddy movie developing strong bonds of friendship among the usual diverse stereotypes, while at the same time trying to mock that bonding. Given the lack of any real attempt at character development the quality of acting is beyond judgement. Much has been made of the star turn cameos in the film, and they are kinda cute. Tom Cruise’s character has been singled out as having some specific reference to a studio head, but forget that. He does have one especially clever piece of business that does make a definite and amusing reference to a noted icon, one of the most famous of our time. But, so far as I know, no reviewer or commenter has yet revealed it. So neither shall I.

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