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cinema: Actors under fire.

Byline: by Roz Laws

tropic thunder 15


TROPIC Thunder is the latest offering from Ben Stiller and friends and provides an affectionate parody of the war films we have grown to love.

Vietnam is the setting and scenes from Apocalypse Now and Platoon are lampooned with glee but this is no simple spoof.

While the war Mlm cliches come thick and fast the real target for a lot of the humour is Hollywood's Mnest - the actors themselves.

And the star-studded team pull no punches with digs at the likes of Russell Crowe and Martin Lawrence.

But unfortunately, for what is undoubtedly a fun and clever Mlm, perhaps the funniest part of it is the fake trailers the stars created for their characters before the Mlm even begins.

These set the scene for the adventure ahead and see Robert Downey Jr playing a gay monk alongside Toby Maguire, and Jack Black farting his way through a parody of your typical Martin Lawrence Lop. In the Mlm itself Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, a waning action star whose last chance at glory is playing the lead in Tropic Thunder.

But you may recognise him from his previous incarnation as Derek Zoolander in the Jlm of the same name which is no bad thing. The character is exactly the same as the cerebrally challenged star of that classic which set about to poke fun at the shallow world of the fashion industry.

But this time it is Hollywood's lightweight talents who are in the Jring line, especially the pretentious method acting promoted by the Jlms central stars Stiller, as Tugg, and Robert Downey Jr as, well, as Crowe.

Downey steals the show from an ensemble cast including Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey and our very own Steve Coogan, playing an Australian method actor who has had his skin colour chemically alltered to play the role of the African-American sergeant, Kirk Lazarus.

There are belly laughs a plenty as the Jlms plot literally unravels before your eyes but while it is no Zoolander, Tropic Thunder is still well worth a watch.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2008
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