Tropic Thunder

Director: Ben Stiller
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 1.0

Ben Stiller and fellow cast members of a Hollywood movie set in Vietnam get attacked by rebels who are not a part of a movie - the intention, I'm guessing, is to critique how out of touch with reality the movie people really are (ironic, since Tom Cruise is in this). Yet, it's not so much funny as desperate - Robert Downey Jr.'s performance in blackface is one-note (he's mocking Russell Crowe), Cruise's "cameo" as a foul-mouthed mogul is embarrassing (though not as embarrassing as the Oprah appearance), the mockery of disabled people is just some attempt to be edgy and clever (though it's about the same level as Mad TV's Stuart sketches) and the excessive cursing is just gratuitous. You keep trying and on occasion something will hit, and it's mostly cheap humor: a knife-wielding child, dick jokes, Lance Bass as himself. The most subtle gag in the movie comes earliest, with Tobey Maguire and Downey Jr. spoofing Brokeback Mountain and Priest. And that's before the 'real movie' even begins....