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Tropic Thunder (2008)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.

Director:

Ben Stiller

Writers:

Justin Theroux (screenplay), Ben Stiller (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
304 ( 50)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Kahn ... Snooty Waiter - Fatties Trailer
Robert Downey Jr. ... Kirk Lazarus - Hot LZ
Anthony Ruivivar ... Platoon Sergeant Shot in Head - Hot LZ
Jack Black ... Jeff Portnoy - Hot LZ
Jay Baruchel ... Kevin Sandusky - Hot LZ
Brandon T. Jackson ... Alpa Chino - Hot LZ
Ben Stiller ... Tugg Speedman - Hot LZ
Eric Winzenried ... Chopper Pilot - Hot LZ
Steve Coogan ... Damien Cockburn - Vietnam Crew
Valerie Azlynn ... Damien's Assistant - Vietnam Crew
Matt Levin ... Cameraperson - Vietnam Crew
David Pressman ... First Assistant Director - Vietnam Crew
Amy Stiller ... Script Supervisor - Vietnam Crew
Danny McBride ... Cody - Vietnam Crew
Dempsey Silva Dempsey Silva ... Special Effects Assistant - Vietnam Crew
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Storyline

Action movie star Tugg Speedman is on the downslide of his professional career. He wants to be considered a serious actor, but his latest serious role as the title character in "Simple Jack" resulted in negative reviews and ridicule. Comedian Jeff Portnoy is best known for his leading roles in sophomoric comedies, and may be less well known for his rampant drug use. Five time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus is a serious method actor, who immerses himself in whatever the role. On location in southeast Vietnam, they are the stars of "Tropic Thunder", based on Vietnam war veteran 'Four Leaf' Tayback's memoirs of his rescue during the war, that rescue which was considered a near suicide mission for the assigned army force and resulted in him losing both hands. For his role, Caucasian Australian Lazarus even went through a controversial surgical skin dying procedure so that he could convincingly play a black man. Production is not going well since rookie director Damien Cockburn is unable to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie they think they're making... isn't a movie anymore. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the battle scene near the start of the "film within the film", Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), yells, "You call in that snake and nape and get us some boom-boom NOW!" Used extensively by American forces during the Vietnam era, "snake and nape" was a close air support ordnance made up of 250-pound MK-81 "Snake-Eye" bombs, and 500-pound M-47 napalm canisters. Essentially, Jeff Portnoy's character "Fats" was telling the radio operator to call for airplanes to come in and drop a combination of conventional bombs and napalm on the enemy, so the wounded could be evacuated. See more »

Goofs

When the gang are sitting and talking around the campfire, the rifle leaning on the rock between Alpha and Sandusky appears/disappears between angle shots. See more »

Quotes

Kirk Lazarus: Yo asshole, this muthafucka's dead ain't no Chris Angel Mind Freak, David Blaine trap door, horseshit jumpin' off here.
Tugg Speedman: Hey, you wanna get on the train here or you wanna ruin another take, huh?
Kirk Lazarus: Ain't no goddamn takes, ain't no goddamn motion picture!
Tugg Speedman: Are you sure?
Kirk Lazarus: Oh yea.
Tugg Speedman: Yeah?
Kirk Lazarus: For certain man.
Tugg Speedman: Then why are you still in character? Hm?
Kirk Lazarus: [pause] I know but I don't have to tell you...
Tugg Speedman: You don't know.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie begins with advertisement and fake trailers where the "actors" appear. See more »

Alternate Versions

Tugg Speedman spitting multiple times at Byong (Reggie Lee) isn't on the region 4 (Australia/New Zealand) DVD. Also Robert Downey Jr's monologue about actors going full retard is slightly edited. The region 4 DVD for some reason doesn't include the line referring to Peter Sellers in Being There. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heroes Unmasked: Let's Get Physical (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I Just Want To Celebrate
Written by Dino Fekaris, Nick Zesses
Performed by The Mooney Suzuki
(unrated version only)
See more »

User Reviews

 
11 years later, it still holds up to me
1 April 2019 | by dgalicia21See all my reviews

I saw this movie in theaters and fell in love with it. I've seen it many times throughout the years and have noticed most people either don't know or don't care for this film. After rewatching it yesterday, I just had to write about it.

The casting was incredible in my opinion. People think of Ocean's Eleven or The Departed as movies with dream casts. I think Tropic Thunder holds its own. Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey are solid minor/supporting characters. I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise, but I find myself quoting all of his Les Grossman lines consistently. Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, Bill Hader and Danny McBride are great additions. Jay Baruchel is his usual self, Brandon T Jackson was a solid part of the mix and the three main leads really deliver. Special mention to RDJ, by far my favorite performance. It's ridiculous how many layers there are to his character. At some point he's an Australian actor playing a Black guy playing an Asian farmer.

Almost every single scene has a quotable line. The action is very well done and the story's so wonderfully over the top.

I think the biggest win is how well it has aged in my opinion. Movies like The Hangover were really funny when they came out, but I find there's no replay value. The jokes don't work well the second time around. The same goes for something like Deadpool. On the other hand, films like Borat, Anchorman and Tropic Thunder still make me laugh regardless of how many times I've seen it.

I wish Ben Stiller would go back to doing stuff like this. A Les Grossman sequel would've been absolutely incredible!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Germany

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

13 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tropic Thunder See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,812,796, 17 August 2008

Gross USA:

$110,515,313

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$195,702,811
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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