Tropic Thunder

10 out of 13 nots.
for kicking Hollywood in the gonads

I am sure by now, unless you live under a rock, you have heard about the controversy surrounding Tropic Thunder.  Ben Stiller’s character of Tugg Speedman portrayed a mentally disabled boy in a movie called Simple Jack.  Yes, the character of Jack is rife with stereotypes of the cognitively challenged… but that’s sort of the point.  Tugg took the part of Jack in a blatant attempt to show that he was more than an action star and to try to nab Oscar gold.  Tropic Thunder is not about Jack, its about Tugg, who himself is a stereotypical action star, doing what we, the audience, already consider to be fairly tasteless (blatant Oscar bid films) and taking it to the extreme.  Much the same way that Robert Downey Jr.’s Kirk Lazarus is taking actors who physically transform themselves for their craft to the extreme (he gets his skin dyed so that he, a white actor, can portray a black man).  Every character in the film is a caricature of people who exist in the real Hollywood, and it is really funny.

However, to every person out there… this movie is rated R for a reason.  Take it seriously.  And its not just for the swearing (of which there is a lot), or the blood and gore (or which there is plenty), or nudity (which there isn’t any, unless you count Jack Black in his underwear), it is also because, unless you are a person who can discern the difference between a joke and not a joke (like, for instance, kids), this movie might be extremely offensive… to everyone.  But hey, if you can take a joke, and if you can separate having a laugh from having a world outlook, this movie is a hoot.

Of course, we could always ban jokes about the mentally disabled… and other disabled people… and blacks, and jews, and fat people, and skinny people, and business people, and homeless people, and normal people.  We could ban all those jokes… but then all we would have left are knock-knock jokes, and not very many of those at that.  Remember, for every movie you think isn’t funny, there is a movie you think is hilarious that someone else thinks isn’t funny.  Even Finding Nemo makes fun of people who have memory problems…

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