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Tropic Thunder (2008)

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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
545 ( 22)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 44 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 »


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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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$110,515,313

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$188,072,649
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like his character, Kirk Lazarus, Robert Downey, Jr. is a method actor and stayed in character as Sergeant Osiris/Lazarus even while cameras were not rolling. See more »

Goofs

Both Kevin Sandusky and Alpa Chino are carrying Vietnam War era correct M16A1 rifles, complete with the fixed butt stock, 20" barrel and the three pronged flash suppressor. Tugg Speedman is carrying a modern era M4 carbine rifle. This rifle is distinctly different looking than the A1, in that it has the adjustable length butt stock, 16" barrel with the round fore stock and the modern "birdcage" flash suppressor. This rifle didn't come out until well after the Vietnam War had ended. See more »

Quotes

Kevin Sandusky: There's no way we make it over that ridge before sundown.
Kirk Lazarus: All right fellas, we're gonna make camp, rest up. Y'all might be in for a treat. You know back before the war broke out I was a saucier in San Antone. I bet I could collar up some of them greens, yeah, some crawfish out the paddy, yo'! Ha! I'm makin' some crabapples for dessert now, yo! Hell yeah, ha!
Alpa Chino: [mocking Kirk] Hell yeah! Ha! That's how we all talk? We all talk like dis, "suh"? Yes suh, ha! Yeah mmm-hmm get some crawfish, and some ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

There is a director's extended cut which is available on the 3-disc special edition in the UK which contains more footage - runtime of overall film is 116 minutes on back of DVD case. See more »


Soundtracks

War
Performed by Edwin Starr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sharp Satire
14 August 2008 | by if-i-could-staySee all my reviews

'Tropic Thunder' is the sharpest, nastiest, and most honest parody of Hollywood since Altman's 'The Player'.

If Doweny Jr. in black face, the script's use of "retard", or the politically incorrect humor offends you, you're missing the point.

Only Russel Crowe, Robin Williams, and Harvey Weinstein should take offense. The parodies of their personalities, their films, and their business tactics are downright cruel. (But, so, so true, and so brilliant.) I must credit every actor -- particularly Downey Jr. and Cruise -- for their performances, and for making their characters more than stereotypes for cheap laughs.

The more you know about Hollywood, the more you will appreciate the film. If not, just go and laugh at the genre. It takes balls to leave in a scene discussing how Blue-Ray conquered HD-DVD (and expect anyone to fine it funny). But it is funny.

To utterly relish the insanity, brush up on 'Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse'.

They got it so right. So, so, so right.


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