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It's a jungle...

PUBLISHED: 14:37 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 17:10 16 August 2010

TOP GUN: Ben Stiller stars as Speedman.

TOP GUN: Ben Stiller stars as Speedman.

METHOD actors, thinly-veiled careerist Oscar bids and the action blockbuster itself all come under fire in this vulgar, foul-mouthed satirical attack on the Hollywood machine. Ben Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, an action superstar who is hoping his new

METHOD actors, thinly-veiled careerist Oscar bids and the action blockbuster itself all come under fire in this vulgar, foul-mouthed satirical attack on the Hollywood machine.

Ben Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, an action superstar who is hoping his new project, Tropic Thunder, a Vietnam War film, will get his career back on track after an earlier attempt to get an Oscar nomination by playing a mentally disabled character went down in flames.

Co-starring in the film is five-time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr), druggie comic actor Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), who is fresh from a success with a series about a farting family, The Fatties, bona fide black man and hip-hop star Alpa Chino (Brandon T Jackson) and the overwhelmed British director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan).

On the advice of the amputee war hero (Nick Nolte), on whose memoirs the film is based, Cockburn gets the bright idea to dump the cast deep in the middle of the jungle and film the whole thing on hidden cameras, with more explosive results than he bargained for.

Stiller, who also directs, uses the set-up to gun down the excesses and idiosyncrasies of Hollywood and does so with great gusto. The results are patchy but there are some moments of gleefully over-the-top chaos that make up for some of the more poorly judged aspects.

Definitely not one for the easily offended but a rewarding if flawed slab of hard-hitting satire for those with the stomach for it.

Tropic Thunder is out on DVD now.

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