I've never been a fan of Ben Stiller's movies, and I really wasn't expecting much more from this one. So I was shocked to find myself laughing from the opening fake trailers right through to Tom Cruise's excruciating dance number at the end.
I was still laughing in the parking lot. Even now, I giggle every time I think about Cruise's dance, or the spectacular and completely unexpected demise of... well, I won't spoil it for you.
I think the humour in 'Tropic Thunder' succeeds because it works the edges without going over. It surprises and even shocks the audience, but still stays sharply focused on the targets of its satire while avoiding most of the obvious gags. Even the more controversial elements, such as Robert Downey Jr. in blackface or the infamous 'R-word' conversation, are such intelligently handled parodies that it's almost impossible to be offended.
Some people will be offended anyway, but for the rest of you I'll give it four stars.
(And Murray liked it even more!)