Time off - Film

19th September 2008 at 01:00

Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller's previous movies - Zoolander and the magnificent Dodgeball - managed to stay just the right side of obnoxiously laddish, making broad- brush jokes about fatties and hairy Eastern Europeans, but with enough heart and quirky individuality to make them palatable.

There's a chance he may have strayed over the line with his latest directorial outing, Tropic Thunder, in which he plays Tugg Speedman, a self-admiring action hero intent on reviving his career with one last hurrah in a dodgy Vietnam war epic.

The film has attracted criticism for a blacked-up turn from Robert Downey Jr, as ultra-sincere actor Kirk Lazarus, liberal use of the word "retard" (after Tugg fails to win an Oscar for his performance as a loveable idiot in the film "Simple Jack"), and Tom Cruise's lively, although according to The New York Times, slightly suspect turn as a loathsome Jewish movie producer.

There have been mixed reactions from reviewers and bloggers, with one scribe dismissing it as "the worst film ever", while Variety magazine conceded it "undeniably provokes quite a few laughs" for its bad taste audience-baiting.

The twist is that Tugg and co get targeted by some real-life drug guerrillas and have to transform their manufactured machismo into true- life grit. Jack Black, Nick Nolte and Steve Coogan join Stiller behind the camouflage net. Tropic Thunder is in cinemas from today.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now