I wasn't sure what to expect going into this movie; it seemed like your average comedy, with a funny-man cast (Ben Stiller, Jack Black), as well as your average funny plot (bunch of movie stars filming a war movie in Vietnam, and somehow ending up in a real war situation).
I generally like Stiller, who rose to fame with his always-unfortunate, stomache-churningly funny characters in movies such as 'Something About Mary' and Meet the Parents'. Over the last few years, however, he's managed to star in more misses than hits, and I was worried whether this movie is going to show him in full glory, or just disappoint with another mediocre performance.
As the movie goes on, you start to realize that this is much more than your average comedy; the movie is a direct head-on attack at Hollywood, the movie industry, and the joke it's managed to become over the last decade or so. Thunder takes very witty shots at everything from over-paid, pampered actors, to needy agents, stupid movies, by-product advertising and much more, quite literally dissecting the entire industry and giving us a great laugh through it all.
The movie actually has a great cast, mostly playing unexpected roles, such as Robert Downey Jr as a black man (yup, you heard right, and a damn great performance at that), Tom Cruise as a fat, bald, arrogant movie mogul (in what is probably his most radical role ever), as well as a long list of other surprising cameos along the way.
Ben Stiller actually directed the movie, and has done an amazing job on this. There are quite a number of satirical, fast and/or crude jokes here that not everyone will get, but there's plenty of dumb laughs to keep everyone entertained in between. It's always great to catch a smart, hilarious movie, which is refreshing to watch in comparison to the rubbish that's been coming out over the past few months (years).
Great stuff, 9/10.
(7/10 if you're slow at catching all the inside jokes)