in the harsh, sun-drowned thickets of vietnam (north or south, i can’t remember), a helicopter carrying the remains of the hopeful spirits of a rescue mission shivers and whirrs a dirge for the lost life of Seargent Four Leaf Tayback. the youngest pair of eyes on board the chopper searches the leaves as it begins to lift off, a prayer dancing in their centers. just as it looks like Tayback is forever lost in the belly of the leafy monster, he emerges, covered in sweat and struggle from the brush.
almost immediately, he is pierced with one bullet, then another, and another as he stomps determinedly to the chopper. he should have fallen and died immediately, but ever the trooper he presses on and on and on as his comrade in arms, Sgt. Osiris (Robert Downey Jr.), utters one command under his breath: ‘survive.’
and that, ladies and gentlemen, is where i freaking LOST IT. less than 5 minutes into the movie and i’m doubled over in my seat crying w/ laughter, literally. thing abt it is i didnt even hear him when he first said ‘survive;’ i turned to my movie buddy and had to ask him what he said and when he repeated it, the concept of somebody saying ‘survive’ while watching their homie get killed was so absurd that it just killed me inside. he didnt say ‘don’t you die on me!!’ or scream ‘NOOOOOOOOO!’ like they always do in war movies. this faux-nigga said ‘survive.’ i was done.
& the laughs just kept comin one after another after that. if u haven’t seen ‘tropic thunder’ yet, go see it now. dont even read the rest of this review. its good. its AWESOME. dont be a loser all your life! GO SEE IT!
quick plot synopsis: an actor bordering on has-beendom, a rapper trying to break into the acting world, a method actor who would probably willingly kill himself while prepping for a role, and a flatulant heroine-addicted comedian sign on to make a movie, a war flick based on the amazing life of army hero Four Leaf Tayback. in an effort to get some real acting outta them, the director and Tayback himself decide to drop the main characters in the middle of the Vietnam jungle in an area rigged with faux explosives and cameras. in the midst of it all, the actors are forced to become (literally) the characters they portray when they get kidnapped for reals, yo.
first, i gotta say that robert downey jr. was my FAVORITE part of this movie. this + iron man = RDJ at the tops of my favorite actors list, crack or no crack. i guess i should address the whole black face thing:
so the fuck what!
alright, now that i got that out of the way, i will say in seriousness that i hope that all the ppl who were angry abt it will understand it once they see the film. its a parody of how seriously method actors take themselves, and also (in my humble opinion), a prime example of how ridiculous it is when the roles of ethnic characters are given to white actors, totally overlooking completely capable ethnic actors (I’M LOOKIN AT YOU, JOHN WAYNE’S MOVIES!!). it makes me very sad that not enough black folk understand parody/satire (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, PEOPLE WHO GOT MAD ABOUT THAT ‘READ A BOOK’ SONG!!). so yeah, i didnt give a shit abt the blackface. and scratch that, ima stop callin it blackface. this is blackface. this wasnt.
so anyway, RDJ stole the show, largely due to his facial expressions. hilarious. i dont even have anything else to say about them. just plain hilarious. most of my laughing tears came from him.
& not to sell the rest of the cast short, ben stiller has returned to his something-about-mary kind of funniness and jack black killed it, and he didn’t even touch a guitar or sing once during the whole movie! the guy who played Alpa Chino was good too. i think he held his own well in a cast of super huge super big stars; its hard to stand out among the likes of downey, stiller, & black, but he did very well. as did that other little skinny kid whose name i can’t remember.
i have to say that the biggest, most fulfilling surprise in this flick came from a cameo in the form of a greasy, balding, fat, foulmouthed tom cruise who i had NO idea was in this movie. i was reading up on it, and apparently in november 2007, some pictures of cruise on the set were leaked & lawsuits were threatened b/c stiller really, really wanted it to be a surprise for movie goers. he at least got me because i was really surprised; i read a review of the movie in a local paper and it mentioned cruise’s name, but i was like ‘wtf, he’s not in this movie, he aint in the promos nowhere.’ good job, guys. cruise killed it. there were lots of other cameos too.. i love cameos. they’re like finding extra prizes in ur cereal boxes.
when i heard about all the protesting going on over this movie and the use of the ‘r-word’ (“retarded”), i shook my head and said ‘sheesh, people will protest anything.’ i automagically [(c) mreeuh – hi!!!!] assumed that someone had called someone else an ‘r-word’ in passing & ppl got their pannies in a bunch over little to nothing. but… yeah. even i had to shake my head over the treatment of mental handicappedness in the movie. you know those laughs that make you feel like you’re going to hell because you’re laughing at something really inappropriate? yeah. it induced that kind of laughing. and they didnt just say it once, but like, repeatedly. in a very short time frame, even.
overall though, man.. this was a really, really fun time. i dont see any movies that become must-haves for my sorry ass DVD collection, but this is most certainly one.
i give it 5 outta 5 donkins! GO SEE IT!!