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  • I believe that there is a danger in becoming too politically correct, so I went into the film with an open mind

    • by Slyboots
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      Ben Stiller’s new film Tropic Thunder has been getting a lot of heat from African Americans for Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of a man in what is essentially blackface and from disabilities advocates, unhappy with the way the film discusses the mentally disabled by using the word “retard”. Stiller has replied that he is not making fun of these groups of people, he is making fun of actors, that Downey Jr’s character was such a “method” actor that he changed his skin color for a role and Stiller suggests that many actors

      play disabled people for the critical glory.

      As the director and star of the film, Stiller has stood fast by these assertions. The final product of the film is not quite so nuanced.

      I believe that there is a danger in becoming too politically correct, so I went into the film with an open mind. I’m glad I did because it has some very funny parts and very good performances from Downey Jr. and newcomer Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up). I can also accede that the blackface was not used to offend African ...


      • Americans and Stiller tried to use it to subvert stereotypes by showing how ridiculous they were.

        Where I find myself differing from Stiller’s account of the film is in the way that Stiller’s character Tugg Speedman (which is the worst character name ever, I’m sorry, it’s just not funny) addresses mental handicap. Speedman’s portrayal of Simple Jack was for laughs and at the expense of that group of the disabled more than at actors. In fact, his making fun of handicapped people was the thing that essentially saved his life. It wasn’t

        funny, no, but mostly it wasn’t witty, which is what it would have had to have been if it were to have Stiller’s intended affect.

        Overall, I did laugh at the film, but I felt bad about doing it during certain parts. And Jack Black’s character Jeff Portnoy was completely superfluous. Also, everyone is talking about how wonderful Tom Cruise’s performance as a fleshy, hairy executive was, but it just made me uncomfortable. Not because of the vulgarity, but because it was Tom Cruise and I felt like he was sort of humiliating himself.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 112608452091131/k2311a0826/8.26.08
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