So, this past week I have seen two comedy films. As needs to be done, I will now compare them whilst simultaneously reviewing them. That is right - Simultaneous.
This film tries to be a stoner action-comedy, and frankly it fails. I have never seen a stoner comedy that has made me a fan of the genre, and this didn't change that. The plot was crap, just awful, but it did not ever serve to produce good moments of action. The action was just boring.
So comedy? Not so much. There were very few jokes in this film, with many scenes dragging on pretentiously. Almost all of the side-characters were pointless and just terrible to watch. The gangs were pathetic, and this was a huge problem for the film, and the inclusion of Seth Rogen's character to have a girlfriend was just a bad choice. He would be more interesting and associable without a girlfriend. The fact that she was still in high-school was just an odd choice, and the fact she was miles out of Rogan's league didn't help. This left us with just the two main characters, who actually save the film with their relationship, and a guy who I deeply hate, Danny McBride. I hate him as a screen presence, he just sucks up all my laughter and goodwill in every scene he is in. So, casting was not great apart from the leads. The film had nowhere to go, plotwise, with no character development or laughs or action.
Plus, this film focuses solely on characters getting kicked in the balls. By that I do not mean, "once or twice", I mean that at least a dozen times, a character in a fight would get kicked in the crotch. This was so overused that it just pissed me off by the end.
I went into this looking for laughs and I found none. Creating a parody of the Vietnam war film genre just does not resonate with me. I just do not care about that sub-genre either. Creating a parody of the acting process has much more potential than this showed. And again, almost every character was pointless. By that I do not mean, some characters did not advance the plot but where funny, I mean, almost all the characters were not funny, or helpful, or dramatic. They just stole screen time.
Ben Stiller did exactly the same performance we have seen before, but this time it was devoid of humour. Jack Black was terrible. Really bad and unfunny, and the other two nameless guys we absent for almost the whole film. Again, Danny McBride showed up and was a humungous black whole of terrible. That leaves Robert Downey jr, who created one of the most overrated comedy characters I have ever seen. He was mildly amusing, but not hilarious in anyway. Tom Cruise showed up in very heavy make-up, swore a lot and danced to music. That was less funny than expected. So, again, not much comedy.
Plus, this film had a really xenophobic edge to it. It was not humorous, it was uncomfortable. Hearing mild racism against the British, Australians or African-Americans does not great humour make.
They both were huge disappointments, but Pineapple Express was more enjoyable. Go see that, you may find some enjoyment there. Tropic Thunder was not terrible, just a waste of what it could have been.