5 Ways that Tropic Thunder Can Epic Fail

6 08 2008

Tropic Thunder, the Ben Stiller-helmed comedy set to be released in week and a half, doesn’t exactly have a whole lot of things going for it.  Traditionally, big budget comedies have not done well (1941, I’m looking at you).  One could argue that Ben Stiller is past his prime and that overexposure has made movie-goers anxious about Jack Black.  The film’s writing pedigree includes Justin Theroux, who hasn’t written much of anything, and Etan Cohen, whose claim to fame is that people often mistake his name for Ethan Cohen’s.  Hot-as-his-balls Robert Downey Jr.’s unfliching turn in blackface will probably alienate more viewers than it attracts. I think everyone can smell it in the air: Tropic Thunder’s going to tank.  The question is, how low will it go?  How epic will Tropic Thunder epic fail?  Here are a couple of best/worst case scenarios.

1)  In a megaplex in suburban Indiana where Tropic Thunder is playing on three screens, the audio tracks sync up in such a way that snarky comments made by stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. coallesce to make a sound whose frequency makes human heads explode.  The result?  Scanners times a million.

2)  Due in part to a tangled web of alliances between European powers and rampant nationalism across the continent, Tropic Thunder‘s assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand effectively plunges all of Europe into open war.  Stateside, film critic Gene Shalit himself is criticized for overstepping the boundaries of taste after describing watching the film as “a war of attrition.”

3)  Strong box office returns of Tropic Thunder were the crux of a plan by Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke to fill the sagging sails of the US economy.  In the history of human civilization, the time at which China assimilates the United States moves forward forty three years.

4)  News of the colossal failure of Tropic Thunder is broadcast around the globe by the entertainment media.  In a bunker located deep beneath Bayonne, New Jersey, Judd Apatow mutters about things “going according to plan”, strokes the fur of the cat on his lap, and stares with wide, dead eyes at his doomsday device.

5)  With his career in comedy looking grim, Ben Stiller makes an obligatory turn in a dramatic role.  The result of this effort, the Sophia Coppola collaboration Foggy Afternoon, features Stiller as a nameless character in a cafe who glances wistfully around the room while nursing a cup of tea.  The single clearly audible line of the 132 minute-long feature is “Man, that tea got cold fast.”

-Mister Andy Lavender

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