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Tropic Thunder
Tropic Thunder
Actors: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Kahn, Anthony Ruivivar
Director: Ben Stiller
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy
R     2008     1hr 47min

Actors shooting movie get caught in real conflict.

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Movie Details

Actors: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Kahn, Anthony Ruivivar
Director: Ben Stiller
Creators: Ben Stiller, Brian Taylor, Eric McLeod, Justin Theroux, Etan Cohen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Ben Stiller
Studio: Dreamworks Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 15
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Ashley D. from ENDICOTT, NY
Reviewed on 3/13/2013...
A very funny comedy. Contains a lot of adult humor, but is very entertaining.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Derek B. from LINDSBORG, KS
Reviewed on 1/11/2011...
I absolutely loved this movie. This is how a comedy should be done. It takes a plot and lets the comedy flow from the plot, it doesn't throw random topical references out. Robert Downey Jr. is amazing, Jack Black and Ben Stiller were fantastic. However the best performance comes from Tom Cruse, thats right I said Tom Cruse. I wont say who he plays because part of the glory of his role is actually figuring out and comming to terms with the fact that it is Tom Cruse. This is one of the best comedy's in a very long time. If you get the chance watch this movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lewis P. (Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 12/29/2010...
Stiller's Vietnam War action film spoof is as bad as the films it attempts to satirize

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Ben Stiller first approached Robert Downey Jr. about acting in 'Tropic Thunder', Downey was quoted as saying, "this is the stupidest idea I've ever heard." Stiller reportedly replied, "Yeah, I know—isn't it great?" Somehow, in Stiller's mind, 'stupid' is equated with 'funny'. Nonetheless, 'Tropic Thunder' was tremendously successful at the box office which I believe had little to do with the puerile script but more with the action sequences and special effects that appealed to the male teenage and young adult audience. I'll never concede that Stiller has any talent in the area of screen writing but as a director of action sequences, he probably can hold his own with most of the action sequence directors out there today.

'Tropic Thunder' begins with some mildly amusing takeoffs on movie trailers and commercials. Rapper Alpa Chino (Brandon Jackson) promotes his 'Booty Sweat' energy drink and Stiller as Tugg Speedman in Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown where each sequel seems the same as the other. Less successful is Jack Black's obnoxious 'The Fatties: Fart 2" which consists of Black playing each character in a fat suit and farting continuously. The final trailer, 'Satan's Alley', starring Downey's "Kirk Lazarus" and Tobey MacGuire feature two monks attempting to repress their sexual longings for one another. The takeoff is obviously designed to satirize such gay-themed movies as 'Brokeback Mountain'; it's a good way to start a comedy but things begin going downhill almost immediately after the opening sequence.

'Thunder' calls for a complete suspension of disbelief as to the plausibility of the plot. I wondered why Vietnam would ever allow an American film crew to film a movie written in the style of the jingoistic 'Green Berets'. That's where the film-within-a-film is initially being shot but the locale shifts to Laos (or possibly Myanmar) after the spineless Brit director Damien Cockburn is ordered by studio head Les Grossman to get his actors back in shape after the picture goes way beyond budget in the first week of filming. At the suggestion of the author the film is based on, Tayback (who is later unmasked as a fake Vietnam veteran), Cockburn sets up cameras in the jungle and is assisted by his pyrotechnics expert, Cody, to create explosions which are designed to bring verisimilitude to the film. The cast is ordered by their newly self-actualized director to take a trek through the jungle with a hastily patched-together script as their guide.

I realize that 'Thunder' is not to be taken seriously at all but how do the filmmakers actually capture the footage which is later turned into an Academy Award winning documentary at the film's end? They would have to have thousands upon thousands of cameras placed in every nook and cranny of the jungle to capture what the actors are doing. I assume they later used surveillance footage from the Dragons' own cameras when the cast were being held captive in the heroin dealers' lair. But even so, Tayback and Cockburn's idea to create the documentary is too ludicrous for even a silly film such as this.

There is little to gain by rehashing Thunder's amateurish plot. Suffice it to say it involves the kidnapping of Stiller's Speedman character along with Cody and Tayback (Nick Nolte) by a goofy Flaming Dragons gang. The rest of the cast must earn their mettle by saving their buddies from the gang, despite the fact that all their weapons are mere props. 'Thunder' is supposed to be a satire on action films but by the time Stiller and his gang win their brownie points, you can't tell if this is really a satire or simply a bad action picture.

Stiller's main problem is a lack of imagination. For example, he'll come up with the bit about Kirk Lazarus dying his skin black and refusing to break character until we almost reach the film's end. How much can we take of Downey doing his shtick ad infinitum? The same goes for Stiller's 'Simple Jack'. According to Stiller, 'Jack' is not making fun of mentally handicapped people per se but rather actors like Dustin Hoffman who portray a caricature of an idiot savant in 'Rainman'. Stiller doesn't seem to realize that the idiot 'Simple Jack', is a far cry from Hoffman's brainy eccentric. Some people might find a Goofy Gumby such as 'Simple Jack' to be funny but after about ten minutes, can't we move on to something else? 'Thunder' intentionally is designed to be in bad taste but occasionally the films' scenarists ruin the comic tone by going too far. One such moment is when they actually kill off the director Cockburn; another moment is when Speedman kills a lovable Panda.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that 'Tropic Thunder' is the worst film of 2008 but it comes close. The make-up department however does deserve an award for making Tom Cruise unrecognizable as a sleazy, Hollywood producer.
0 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 9/11/2010...
This is one of those wildly rare situations where an R-rated "non director's cut" of a film is actually the best version. The director's cut slows the movie down to an annoying crawl and this is not what you need in a send-up of action flicks. Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise steal this movie (I didn't even know it was Cruise until the closing credits)and never give it back. Stiller is Stiller, Black is Black and only God knows why Nick Nolte is in this thing. NOT an American classic by a long shot, but not a horrible "popcorn movie" by any stretch. A noble attempt to channel Mel Brooks that misfires at points but is still worth a watch for Downey and Cruise alone.

Movie Reviews

Meh... buy the theatrical cut instead
Renfield | Edmonton, Canada | 11/22/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"There's no doubt that Tropic Thunder is one of the funniest movies of the year- if not THE funniest movie of the year. I remember seeing in the theater and laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. I was excited when I found out that there was an unrated DC coming out... 2 discs, and 15 more minutes more footage.

However, as much as I gotta say the movie rocks, I have to say: BUY THE THEATRICAL CUT INSTEAD. The unrated version slows the movie down a bit, and most of the added stuff doesn't seem to fit in. They changed some funny lines, and even took some out as well. In fact some of the added stuff makes the movie feel a lot longer than it really is, and after awhile the movie seems repetitive, which is one of the few things that killed the movie for me.

So if you're planning on buying the DVD, get the single disc rated version instead... this movie is definitely one of the funniest I've seen, and I definitely look forward to owning it, but really, just get the theatrical. It's MUCH better."
Robert Downey, Jr.---Excellent Performance
Monika Hearne | Orlando, FL | 11/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I never understood why Downey, Jr. received job after job after being released from prison. I knew he was a good actor, but his portrayal of Iron Man and his performance in this movie was just phenomenal (I never saw the Charlie Chaplin movie). I know this movie offended some, but my husband and I are Black and we missed some of the dialogue in this movie from laughing so hard. We were picking out family members who really talk like that! This movie is hilarious. It's unfortunate that Oscars aren't considered for these types of movies/performances. All of the characters in this movie contributed to it's pleasing experience, however, RDJ stole EVERY SCENE he was apart of. Great Job, RDJ!!! I'm now one of your biggest fans!!!"
Politically incorrect with the rude comedic spirit of Blazin
Jared Castle | Roseburg, Oregon United States | 11/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"You'll laugh but this movie isn't for the easily offended. Heck, even a few hard-to-offend viewers will cringe, too. A comedy hasn't had this much in-your-face political incorrectness since Blazing Saddles.

You'll be worn out by the end of this two-hour movie but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The hardest laughs come all too quickly before the film settles down to a slower pace.

The story follows a group of high-maintenance actors on the set of a Vietnam war movie that is spinning out of control and likely to become the all-time box office flop, pushing aside Cutthroat Island, The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Basic Instinct 2.

Ben Stiller has the most screen time but Robert Downey Jr. steals the scenes as an Australian method actor who manages to eclipse Robert De Niro's famed transformation in Raging Bull.

Jack Black (in a nod to Eddie Murphy's The Nutty Professor), Brandon T. Jackson, Jay Baruchel round out the rest of the main acting troupe. In smaller roles, Nick Nolte portrays the author of the book, Tropic Thunder, which "got" the movie deal (there's an in-joke). Matthew McConaughey appears as Stiller's TiVo-crazed agent and Tom Cruise appears nearly unrecognizable in creepy make-up as the film's producer. Not a single actor displays anything approaching subtlety or sanity.

One final warning: skip the DVD extras at your own risk. The viral video for MTV is hilarious.