Posted by on Aug 18, 2008 in News & Events |

Q: This review is way more than 119 words. What gives?

A: That word count was insufficient – it constrained my brilliance.

Q: Um … well in that case, why not drop the “119-word” part of the headline?

A: That’s my movie-reviewing brand.

Q: That’s ridiculous.

A: You’ll have to take that up with my editor.

Q: You don’t have an editor. If you did, he would’ve made you chop this thing to 119 words.

3 stars (out of 4)

So many flicks start with a great premise (a movie about bratty/drug-addicted/pretentious actors making a Vietnam movie!) and go nowhere; Tropic Thunder delivers the goods. Hell, the ingenious movie-trailers-as-backstory opener had my entire theater cracking up before we were even sure the feature had started.

Robert-Downey-Jr.-as-windbag-playing-a-black-guy isn’t as funny as I’d hoped (he plays it too straight), but Jack Black’s hack pix up slack (I am way prouder of that line than I should be). And my new favorite actor, Danny McBride, is great as an over-eager SFX guy who “almost blinded Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday.”

Ben Stiller’s clueless action hero works just fine. A lot of folks seem to hate Stiller, who also directed. I think he’s OK, though I wish he’d stop showing off his well-muscled arms by ridiculing guys who show off their arms.

And then there’s Tom Cruise, who plays a savage studio exec. Cruise wears a bald wig, a creepy beard and a fat suit. He’s flat-out brilliant, and I have never said that about him before.