Tropic Thunder ★★★

Allow me to posit that Robert Downey, Jr.'s last decade of film work, primarily confined to the perpetual purgatory of the Marvel movie machinery, is in fact an elaborate continuation of Tropic Thunder's themes of Hollywood greed, vanity, and overarching absurdity writ extreme. The very real and thoroughly justified Oscar nomination Downey received for this otherwise frivolous comedy was a tacit acknowledgement by the industry that Downey "knew the score". He was the only one that could save Hollywood from itself. Selfless artist that he is, Downey sacrificed himself, his legacy and integrity for the performance of an actor consumed and obliterated by a role that thus far has spanned seven films in eight years, with more on the way. Robert Downey, Jr. is more machine than man now. We may never hear his Australian accent again.