Friday, August 22, 2008
Ben Stiller sets out to make a satirical film within a film about Hollywood excess and goes over the top himself.
The film is offensive, gross, loud and very funny. There are plenty of quotable lines and great sight gags but in the end, Mr. Stiller and his partners really go to extremes and the overkill dampens the spirit in which it was made.
The film stars Mr. Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan and a thinly disguised Tom Cruise as well as a few memorable cameos. Mr. Downey Jr. ends the summer as he started it (in Iron Man), on top. His acting is just perfect as he creates an amazing character in Kirk Lazarus. Tom Cruise is hysterical as a fat, bald over the top studio executive who's dialog alone warrants the "R" rating.
The opening moments of fake ads and trailers are genius. It's a shame that the rest of the film can't sustain that creative energy. It tries very hard and there are lots of laughs but in the end, it's one explosion too many.