Tagline: “The movie they think they’re making isn’t a movie anymore.”
Translation: Even so, it’s not that funny seeing Ben Stiller get punched in the nuts.
The verdict: Following such hallowed classics as ¡Three Amigos! and Galaxy Quest, the latest entry in the actors-mistakenly-recruited-to-participate-in-real-life-armed-combat genre is Tropic Thunder, about a director (Steve Coogan) who becomes so annoyed by his actors (Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr.) during the shooting of a Vietnam film that he sends them into an actual war. Strong-ish early buzz about the movie continues to make us interested, even though this first trailer leans a bit too heavy on groin punching and Stiller’s mugging. Downey Jr.’s performance (he plays the guy playing the black guy) seems to be offensive-funny without being offensive-offensive, and, admittedly, we did laugh at the part when he cries while holding up Stiller’s fake blown-off arms. Still, it’s probably no ¡Three Amigos!.