Comedy is subjective but if you don’t like Tropic Thunder you’re wrong. Ben Stiller made a controversial but excellent movie right under the wire. He couldn’t make it today, but I’m glad he made it when he did.
With “cancel culture” still seemingly strong in today’s society, and some still wielding it either as a weapon to destroy or a cross to die on, you had to wonder when it would find its way to Tropic Thunder.
Many are praising Ben Stiller for never apologizing about the film. Obviously it would be tone-deaf to make that movie today, but in the context of the time it was made, it is a very funny movie. Really, if anyone should be scared it’s Robert Downey Jr.
Ben Stiller recently responded to a Twitter reply falsely calling him out for apologizing for Tropic Thunder.
I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it. 🙏✊😊
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) February 21, 2023
The comments were overwhelmingly in support of Stiller and his movie.
Look, the film was controversial, no doubt. It took some big swings, but like GOOD comedy it landed with every punch. Even RDJ stands by his role of Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method actor who undergoes “pigment alteration” surgery in order to play black soldier Hot LZ. Yikes.
Downey said in 2020 on the Joe Rogan Experience, “Ninety percent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great.’”
Cancel culture is a thing, but it isn’t the extreme it’s made out to be. People just want everyone to be more conscious of each other. The problem is, we are all hooked up to the internet now. Almost any message that gains traction is going to be coopted by lunatics looking for attention and validation.
So, what’s the answer?
I don’t know, man. Maybe stop trying to force everyone else to behave and just focus on making sure you are a good person and lead by example? I know there’s no “likes” or clout in that, but I really think that’s the only way out of this. Then more movies like Tropic Thunder can get made, or really any art. It’s just art. You don’t have to like it.