When people ask me what my favorite movie of all time is, I give them a look of stupidity and pretension and then go into an arrogant monologue saying that I’ve seen so many movies that you’d have to divide them up into genres to truly tell you what my favorite from each one. It’s usually at that point where they’re so taken back by my blind arrogance that they default to the only genre they can relate to: comedy.
Lol, jk, that actually doesn’t happen as much as I let on, but what I mean to aim at is when people ask me what my favorite comedy is and more than often I’ll always say Tropic Thunder. Tropic Thunder delivers itself as a comedy in two different ways, based on its audience. To the eyes of a culturally ignorant, Tropic Thunder is decent comedy with its most memorable moment is Jack Black saying he’ll suck Brandon T. Jackson’s dic* if he cuts him down from the tree. Hardee-f*cking-Har. To the eyes of those who have a decent understanding of the Hollywood industry, Tropic Thunder is a pinata full of scathing satire, irreplaceable performances, and deep, well-thoughtout jokes. After the jump lies a breakdown of how this movie literally splits my sides every time I watch it and how moments that might have seemed confusing and irrelevant are actually this movie’s brightest gems.
Tropic Thunder is the story of a group of extremely different actors that set out to make the greatest war movie ever made. When the set location goes wrong, the group of actors are forced to brave the jungles of Vietnam and get entangled in a foreign drug triangle, where they’re forced to use to their trained actor skills to get out of the forest alive. This is the synopsis in a nutshell, but the story goes much deeper that in several ways.
For one, the character development is far deeper than I’ve ever seen in any other comedy. If you’ve seen this movie, you’ll know that it opens up introducing 4 of the 5 main characters in ‘promos’ of fake movies and advertisements. This is the first sense of ‘biting’ [RT] satire as in the first five minutes of the movie makes fun of the absurdity of product placement, the repetitiveness of action movies, the stupidity of comedies, and the laughable pretension of dramas. Each of these ‘promos’ star one of the main characters of the movie and each of their characters as well as their supporting players were written to satirize every aspect of the Hollywood industry, whether it be the wrath of producers, the narrowmindedness of agents, the emotionless incapabilities of action stars, the one-dimensionalality of comedic actors, and even the real life functioning of the key grip! These jokes are spread throughout the entire movie and are more than often the more rewarding punchlines than the more obvious jokes.
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