A group of self-absorbed actors set out to make the most expensive war film. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the production, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting. In the jungles of Southeast Asia they encounter real bad guys.
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Starts off strong, but it degenerates into an unsympathetic, cookie-cutter portrayal of foreigners and resorts to the action-movie cliches that it supposedly lampoons. But very funny on occasion: "Everybody knows you never go full retard".
It's hit or miss but its misses are forgivable while it's hits are true classics. Tom Cruise is astoundingly hilarious and Robert Downey Jr. is revelatory. There are so many moments of comedic genius here that it raises the rest to adequacy. Never go full retard indeed.
Ben Stiller has never shown much chops for directing, but he does have good instincts for schticks. I was also completely surprised that the academy would fall for the joke and actually nominate Downey for an oscar, not a very good film but should be watched for Tom Cruise's and Matthew McCoughney's performances alone.