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Tropic Thunder

September 23, 2008

I’m not sure there’s any point in reviewing Tropic Thunder, really, given it’s everywhere and we’ve all seen that “whaddya mean, you people” clip a hundred times, except to say that I liked it very much, and as a big, dumb comedy/actioner it works very well.

[…begins to leave, then turns, Columbo-style…]

Oh, OK, there is more to say. Consider this a confessional, if you will.

I guess I’ve always had a bit of a downer on the Saturday Night Live boys and girls, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they just never make me laugh. Looking at the IMdB cast list for the show reads like a Who’s Who of people I just. Don’t. Find. Funny.

Will Ferrell (you’re kidding, right?), Dana Carvey (nary a titter), Chris Farley (nothing), Dan Aykroyd (God, no), Adam Sandler (don’t be silly), John Belushi (which one was he again? The dead talentless one, or the live talentless one?), Rob Schneider (objectively unfunny, surely), Bill Murray (now a straight actor. Now?!), Eddie Murphy (and for those watching at home, the answer is b, cocaine), Chevy Chase (possibly the comedic anti-Christ), James Belushi (see above).

See what I mean? I’m being unfair, of course, and I know that there are some seriously talented SNL alumni which I haven’t included because it fucks my theory up royally, but there you go, who’s writing this, you or me? One of those talented individuals, despite, oddly, me despising almost everything he’s done, is Ben Stiller, and he’s the second reason.

I first saw Stiller in the 1996 comedy Flirting With Disaster, and loved it. In that, he’s a young idealist who, along with his wife, and his incompetent case worker, travels across the US to find his birth parents (he was adopted, you see). It’s a wonderfully funny comedy of manners and embarassment and I was pretty certain that I was seeing a major talent emerging right there on the screen. Of course, I was, as he’s now a worldwide star and everything he touches turns to gold. Only, since then, apart from his cruel egoist cameo in Extras, I’ve not cracked a smile at anything. A few smirks in There’s Something About Mary, sure, but that’s about it. I know the guy’s great, he just hasn’t done it for me since, really.

And, you see, I kind of hoped that he might save that SNL stable of talent for me and prove there’s a reason to hang around after all. And in Tropic Thunder, dammit, he manages.

Blimey, people, it even had Jack Black in it and I still laughed.

If you don’t know what it’s about, where have you been? Open a newspaper, switch on the radio or power up the TV. Jeez, you people.

Only…don’t go if you’re easily offended. I’ve never heard the word ‘retard’ uttered so many times.

Oh, oh, and a final thing: the funniest bits, and possibly the funniest 5 minutes you’ll see all year, are right at the very beginning. Please note; The VERY Beginning. Don’t be one of the retards who turns up when the lights have all gone down and you stand there looking lost and terminally gormless hoping there are a group of seats in a prime spot all nice and empty just waiting for you and your unpunctual mates, because you’ll miss a treat. Actually, if you are one of those people, you probably deserve to miss it, and you should be boiled anyway. Retards.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 24, 2008 8:30 pm

    I hate to say it – I really do – but I think you might just have made me want to go and see this. And that’s more than Philip French did. You bastard.

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