Tropic Thunder

( 45 )

Overview

Ben Stiller's satirical look at Hollywood, Tropic Thunder concerns the production of an epic Vietnam War film that quickly derails thanks to the giant egos of everyone involved in the production. Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, an action hero trying to segue out of that genre. Jack Black plays Jeff Portnoy, a drug-addicted fat comic also attempting to change his image by taking on such a serious film. They star alongside Kirk Lazarus Robert Downey Jr., one of the world's most awarded actors, and a man who insists...
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Overview

Ben Stiller's satirical look at Hollywood, Tropic Thunder concerns the production of an epic Vietnam War film that quickly derails thanks to the giant egos of everyone involved in the production. Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, an action hero trying to segue out of that genre. Jack Black plays Jeff Portnoy, a drug-addicted fat comic also attempting to change his image by taking on such a serious film. They star alongside Kirk Lazarus Robert Downey Jr., one of the world's most awarded actors, and a man who insists on immersing himself totally in a role. In this case, that means Lazarus has had his skin dyed in order to portray an African-American soldier. After their outrageous behavior lands the film's director, Damien Cockburn Steve Coogan, in very hot water with producer Les Grossman Tom Cruise, Cockburn takes the advice of grizzled Vietnam vet Four Leaf Tayback Nick Nolte; in order to gain control of his performers, Cockburn drops the actors off in the jungle, planning to film the movie guerrilla-style with hidden cameras. When the group stumbles upon a heroin production camp, the actors are unaware that they are in very real danger.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Ben Stiller's biggest problem as a director has been that his material has never quite been worthy of his obvious ambition. But in Tropic Thunder, a satire about the insecurity and immaturity of movie stars, which he co-wrote with Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen, Stiller's obvious comfort and confidence in the material grounds the film so firmly that, for the first time, his directorial ambitions can flourish. The premise is that five actors -- three of them international superstars -- are stranded somewhere in Asia believing they are shooting a guerrilla-style Vietnam War epic, when they're in fact caught up in very real danger. This structure serves up so many delicious possibilities that Stiller and his cohorts can't help themselves, they try everything: physical comedy; self-serious Oscar-bait trailers; profanity-laced diatribes from Hollywood power players -- they even mock the horrors of drug withdrawal, all the while playing up the ceaseless insincerity of almost everyone involved in moviemaking. Well-shot by cinematographer John Toll, and cannily edited by Greg Hayden, the film is a visual treat. Moving briskly from joke to joke, Tropic Thunder, much like Hot Fuzz, works as both as an action film and as a spoof of action films. When there are visual allusions to other Vietnam classics like Apocalypse Now or Platoon, the point is never just to reference those great works -- there's always something else going on in those scenes to make them funny, so the homages simply add another layer of laughter. The care that went into the art direction, for instance especially in the movie memorabilia on display in an agent's office, will bring a smile to anyone paying attention. Nobody can be faulted for missing some of these subtle pleasures, however, because the big jokes are so consistently uproarious. Everyone from Steve Coogan, as the befuddled British director, to Danny McBride, as a gung-ho special-effects man, to Matthew McConaughey, playing a loyal, unctuous agent, takes full advantage of the numerous opportunities to score laughs. Jay Baruchel deserves particular praise for playing the straight man flawlessly against each and every one of these raging lunatics. But it's Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus, an Australian critical darling revered for his chameleon-like method acting, who will keep viewers doubled up with laughter. The character undergoes a radical surgical process that turns his skin black so that he can play an African-American role, and Lazarus refuses to break character, even when the cameras are off. His ongoing verbal battles with entrepreneurial rapper and fellow cast member Alpa Chino a rock-solid Brandon T. Jackson, whose character gives the film its screamingly funny first scene become so comically convoluted that they defuse the racial tension. That comedic shock value adds yet another dimension to a movie that already draws upon the rich tradition of Hollywood self-mockery, from Sullivan's Travels to The Player. Time will tell if this film ends up in the pantheon with those poison pen letters to Tinsletown, but it is safe to say that Tropic Thunder is the most consistently funny movie Hollywood managed to produce in the summer of 2008.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929301478
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 19,258

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Stiller Tugg Speedman
Jack Black Jeff Portnoy
Robert Downey Jr. Kirk Lazarus
Nick Nolte Four Leaf Tayback
Steve Coogan Damien Cockburn
Jay Baruchel Kevin Sandusky
Danny McBride Cody
Danny McBride Cody
Brandon T. Jackson Alpa Chino
Bill Hader Studio Executive Rob Slolom
Brandon Soo Hoo Tran
Reggie Lee Byong
Trieu Tran Tru
Matthew McConaughey Rick Peck
Eric Winzenreid chopper pilot
Valerie Azlynn Damien's assistant
Tom Cruise Les Grossman
Matt Levin cameraperson
Amy Stiller script supervisor
David Pressman First assistant director
Dempsey Silva special effects assistant
Justin Theroux Jan Jurgen
Technical Credits
Ben Stiller Director, Original Story, Producer, Screenwriter
Etan Cohen Screenwriter
Stuart Cornfeld Producer
George Drakoulias Musical Direction/Supervision
Greg Hayden Editor
Richard L. Johnson Art Director
Francine Maisler Casting
Jeff Mann Production Designer
Eric McLeod Producer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Marlene Stewart Costumes/Costume Designer
Brian Taylor Co-producer
Justin Theroux Executive Producer, Original Story, Screenwriter
John Toll Cinematographer
Dan Webster Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!!!

    Take one step back and f***k your face!!!! lol Tom was the best as that weird bald hairy man... the movie was great... Ben stiller as a full retard was awesome... "your only suppose to go half way retarted, Forest Gump half retard, you went all the way man..." Robert was amazing the movie was just non stop laughs all the way... best comedy i have seen in a while, and Ben stiller doesnt really have that many "good" comedy movies.... recomend to EVERYONE!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Comedy without a Censorship.

    This movie is a masterpiece of laughter. So Robert Downey Jr. plays a black man & Ben Stiller plays a Mentally Challenge character to the extreme. My answer to all the politically correctness is get a sense a Humor!!!!! If people like to know where I stand politically the answer is INDEPENDENT!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Robert Downey Jr is AMAZING! and HALARIOUS!

    Im still quoting everything he said! his charecter was the best one. they all were good the soundtrack stood out too every song was like... OO i like this song! but really that Downey guy is a GREAT actor!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    TROPIC THUNDER

    when i watched Tropic Thunder for the first time i did not stop laughing the whole way trough it is funny, and full of action

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I'm Usually Not This Guy But..

    I really only wrote this review to balance out all of the reviews over-exaggerating how good this movie is. I think I will blame my feelings for the movie on director Ben Stiller. He should really stay in front of the cameras at all times. While I cannot name a film off the top of my head that is similar, I feel the plot was kind of weak. It seems like it's been done before. I will certainly put this as the worst thing Danny McBride has done. But as for the other actors, it is somewhere near the bottom of their resumes. I did laugh a few times, but a lot of it is predictable. My personal favorite scene (aside from every single scene with Tom Cruise as Les Grossman) is the end scene with the helicopter and Ben Stiller changing his mind. That was hilarious. Definitely worth a watch, but I don't know about a purchase.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Top Ten Comedy

    This movie clearly belongs on anyone's "Top Ten" list of comedy movies and should be in everyone's library.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hysterical!

    If you need to escape for a couple hours and just have fun, this is the movie for you! It has its offensive moments, but if you aren't bothered by that, the acting and great dialogue will have you laughing your head off.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Who knew that Tom Cruise had a sense of humor!!!!

    It must have been one of the best kept secrets in hollywood, but Tom Cruise is a funny guy. He made the whole movie for me and I have never been a fan of his work or that of Ben Stiller's. This was one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear that Flo-rida song again without bursting into peals of laughter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Intelligent and Hilarious Spoof

    You would think from the previous four customer reviews that this movie only appeals to people who can't spell. But that's not the case. TROPIC THUNDER is a witty, raunchy satire on war movies, Hollywood, and Tom Cruise.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 25, 2010

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    Posted January 2, 2009

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    Posted January 14, 2009

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted November 29, 2008

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    Posted June 10, 2010

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    Posted November 22, 2008

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews