Not since the heyday of Burton and Taylor (Richard and Elizabeth, not Tony and Dub) has Hollywood dared to team a pair of noted… how do I say this without getting sued for libel… bon vivants on a major motion picture. And I applaud Dreamworks’ and Ben Stillers’s bravery in hiring Owen Wilson and Nick Nolte to join the impressive ensemble cast of Tropic Thunder (which, come to think of it, sounds like a low-end brand of tequila), even though the combined bar tab these two could/will run up stands to add a few million dollars to the final budget (provided they lay off table service).
A comedic Dirty Dozen of sorts centered around a cast of actors who, whilst shooting a war movie, find themselves forced to put their military training to the test, Tropic Thunder also stars Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Bill Hader, Jay Baruchel, Steve Coogan, Danny McBride and many other merry-makers. Stiller is directing from a screenplay written by himself, Justin Theroux and Etan Coen, which certainly sounds promising; though Stiller’s definitely fallen out of favor with those who once considered him a comedy powerhouse (and, yes, there was a time when this was the case), one Zoolander-level success could go a long way toward restoring his reputation (and, to give you an idea of how far the bar’s been lowered, I say that as someone who isn’t particularly enamored of Zoolander).
But the first order of business will be airlifting every inebriant out of Hawaii, where the production will be located this summer (along with Los Angeles, where Stiller will just have to take his chances).