DIRECTOR: Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller himself, directs, …himself, in a pastiche about a group of Hollywood actors exploiting the Vietnam war to further their respective careers. The film’s fictional director played adequately by Steve Coogan, comes up with a radical solution to his movie’s production problems but this literally back fires, leaving the group of miss matched stars, Stiller, Black and Downey Jr., under attack from local poppy growers, unaware that it is real, instead, believing that it’s all part of the radical filming process.
What a strange film. As the filmed began, so did the laughs as the hilarious set of faux trailers rolled. Then, the film started in earnest, with a big budget sequence about a big budget action sequence being filmed. The laughs continued for the next twenty minutes then, as the plot took off, so did the humour, as it sawed into the sunset, never to be seen or heard of again.
Ben Stiller, though funny at times, has a cruel sensibility, with his brand of humour not always being my cup of tea. Jack Black is hit and miss too, but Robert Downey Jr. was first rate, again as a white thespian type, who controversially committed to his Vietnam veteran roll by having his skin tone turned into that of an African-American.
It pushes boundaries to an extent and at times, is an excellent parody of Hollywood, as the ‘Tom Cruse does Joel Silver’ cameo embodies so well, but as I said, the funny stops early on and the film just seems to tread water, missing every mark on the way to nowhere.
A real shame, but not bad regardless and different tastes will result is more or less laughs, depending.