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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Tropic Thunder

The cast of Tropic Thunder (Paramount)

I remember Monty Python's John Cleese stating on a talk show that people need to be offended - often. Well Tropic Thunder (opening August 13 throughout San Diego) seems to have already struck a sensitive nerve as protests are already rolling in about the film's use of the word "retard" and it's depiction of a mentally handicapped person. The film also has the potential to offend with white actor Robert Downey, Jr. essentially donning "blackface" to play an African American character. But those are only the two most overt offenses in a film ripe with political incorrectness. Others who may want to line up at the complaint department are gays, priests, obese people, Vietnam vets, Asians, animal lovers... umm, let's see, who did I leave out? But before you decide to join any of the boycotts or protests, consider this, the real butt of all the jokes is Hollywood as writer-director-producer-star Ben Stiller nibbles at if not outright bites the hand that feeds him.

Seth Hettena from San Diego
August 14, 2008 at 07:18 PM
Will the sequel be a mock documentary titled The Making of Tropic Thunder? And Cleese was right.

Beth Accomando
August 14, 2008 at 07:29 PM
Seth, I'm so glad you agree with Cleese. A mock-doc would be a perfect follow up. Look for the awards show clip at the end of the film that involves some real celebs poking fun at themselves. Thanks for the comment.

mh santelli from new jersey
August 15, 2008 at 04:31 PM
I go to your reviews because you are always able to find a thread with the greats (both actors and films) and the new; the make the links and it's terrific... Cleese was right and thanks for making the connection!

Beth Accomando
August 16, 2008 at 09:44 AM
Monty Python often seems to provide words of wisdom. Thanks to MH for the comment.

Beth Accomando from San Diego
August 18, 2008 at 10:49 PM
Agreed. I especially liked the Jon Voight cameo at the awards show when he doesn't win. Thanks for the comment.

Andy Parker from Oceanside via Pittsburgh
August 30, 2008 at 04:16 AM
Wow. I'm surprised by your review. This is one of the worst films I've seen this summer. Just awful. There are funny moments but it's not enough to make it worth the cost of the ticket or the film. After the initial opening scenes, the level of writing and comedy fall off a precipice. Despite nice performances by Downey, Jr. and Cruise, this series of SNL-style skits would have played better on the small screen than it does on the large.

Beth Accomando from San Diego
August 30, 2008 at 07:41 AM
Although I would never call this a great comedy, I did think it deftly skewered Hollywood and for that it was enjoyable. If you're willing to gamble on my judgment, I would suggest checking out The Independent, it too pokes fun at Hollywood but in a more sustained manner. Thanks for the comment. Beth

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