Tropic Thunder

Film, Comedy
0 Love It
Save it
Tropic Thunder
Don’t be late for ‘Tropic Thunder’, or you’ll miss the second-best bit: the spoof trailers for ‘Scorcher VI’ starring action hero Tugg Speedman, ‘The Fatties 2’ starring gross-out favourite Jeff Portnoy and ‘Satan’s Alley’ starring Oscar-laden thesp Kirk Lazarus. Speedman, Portnoy and Lazarus – played by Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr respectively – are the leads in a bombastic Vietnam epic shooting on location in the Golden Triangle. The flailing Brit director (Steve Coogan) sets them loose in the jungle, intending to film their method-fuelled progress on hidden cameras, but they end up facing genuine combat together. Cue machine-guns all round, and then hugs.

The makers of ‘Tropic Thunder’ knew they had a challenge on their hands with the character of Lazarus, who is surgically blacked up to play an African-American soldier, meaning that Downey is too. They did a good job of defusing the issue in the US – they’re parodying Hollywood narcissism, not the black experience, for heaven’s sake! – and were enormously helped by Downey’s terrific, compulsive performance. Equal parts brash, bonkers and perplexed, he’s the film’s best bit. (The mental-health lobby was less than impressed by his bravura monologue about the perils of actors going ‘full retard’ in pursuit of Oscar glory, but that’s another story.)

Certainly, the film works much better as Tinseltown parody than as action flick or character drama; on those terms, which co-writer and director Stiller seems to have taken seriously, it’s pretty ordinary stuff. But its better moments of self-referential snark, such as an ace cameo from Tom Cruise as an obnoxious studio exec, have the feel of a superior end-of-term revue.

By: Ben Walters

Posted:

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday August 1 2008
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ben Stiller
Screenwriter: Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Etan Cohen
Cast: Robert Downey Jr
Danny R. McBride
Jay Baruchel
Brandon T. Jackson
Steve Coogan
Bill Hader
Matthew McConaughey
Nick Nolte
Brandon Soo Hoo
Tom Cruise
Jack Black
Ben Stiller
Reggie Lee

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:30
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:6
  • 1 star:25
LiveReviews|68
1 person listening
Staff Writer

Hysterical film. Most notably for me is Tom Cruise. So many times cast into the action hero role, but here he shows the other side. An absolute classic scene is Cruise dancing to Flo Rida track. There are a ton of laughs, some great comedy one-liners. If you have time to spare and getting some comedy mental chewing gum then this film may tick the boxes.


i think dats wat it is mate, londoners r waaay to borin 2 find this film funni. and people bothered by bad language? wtf if u dnt like swearin u shudnt see a film wiv ben stiller nd jack black in it! its a 15 4 a reason, oh no sum1 sed a naughty word!


Best film i have ever seen i cannot believe some of you dont like it its coz u lot r from london only us from up north like it coz we can follow a simple plot


I think the wrong sort of people are going to see this movie. I normally hate Ben Stiller and Jack Black. I normally find their work crass and rather stupid, but I LOVED this movie. In the audience I was in with, people couldn't stop laughing long enough for me to hear much of the dialog properly. I missed half of the lines in the movie because people were laughing so hard. This is not just some stupid feel good 'oh look, poopy! hahaha' flick. This is satire. Vicious, take no prisoners, sadistic satire. See doctor strange love for details. In order to like this film you have to be intelligent, and almost completely insensitive.


Tropic Thunder is one of the funnier comedies of the year. The first minutes of the movie are worth the ticket alone. They make fun of hollywood and the movie business as we have come to know it.: Sequels,movie stars,action flicks ,movie reviews etc. The movie plot is really a simple one. To get the jokes one has to have a little working knowledge of the hollywood movie business. The joke is really on hollywood. A director sets out to shoot the biggest war movie ever made.Amidst fears of the studio pulling the plug on production owing to skyrocketing production costs and actors block ( if such a thing exists), the director ditches the movie set for an actual jungle where the actors encounter a real -life drug cartel militia. It is a star studded comedy. Dont miss Robert Downey's turn as an African American wannabe which he plays convincingly. Jack Black as usual is dependable when it comes to testing the boundaries of comedy. Nick Nolte also gives some laughs,an unusual role for him,He plays a Nam veteran with a very interesting twist. Tropic Thunder is one of the better comedy offerings of the year.You will get the jokes if you know hollywood and if you have seen many of the Vietnam war movies.In many ways it is a spoof of the hollywood war movie, ranging from Platoon to Rambo.If you must miss any part of the movie let it not be the first minutes.On their own,they are worth the ticket!


What a film!!! Tom Cruise is really funny, Downey jr is superb and Ben Stiller killed a panda. What more could you ask for. Don't listen to anyone who says this is crap. They need to lighten up a bit, sit back and enjoy. They probably just need to get laid!!!


I went with an open mind as possible having had a quick read through the mixed reviews. Dear me though, not a good film and I normally think Ben Stiller films are great. I guess there were a few laughs, but honestly go and see something else. I just want to forget this one asap!


Unfortunately not good at all. Nobody else in the cinema really laughed. Shame because the trailer showed so much potential. Wait until its released on DVD....no in fact TV next Christmas.


seriously all these people who keep badmouthing this are clearly the most blind and anally retentive people ever!! i found this quite a funny film and i enjoyed it and didnt feel the need to get up and walk out like these people,, seriously grow up and learn to laugh at humour!!!!!! xxx


seriously all these people who keep badmouthing this are clearly the most blind and anally retentive people ever!! i found this quite a funny film and i enjoyed it and didnt feel the need to get up and walk out like these people,, seriously grow up and learn to laugh at humour!!!!!! xxx


bloody hell!!! most of the bad comments on here are written by people who seem to have far tooomuch time on their hands, depressed people who don't understand what type of film this was meant to be, watching in hope it could make another drab, depressing day bearable. the films hilarious if you like laughing and watching an actual comedy go watch!!!


bloody hell!!! most of the bad comments on here are written by people who seem to have far tooomuch time on their hands, depressed people who don't understand what type of film this was meant to be, watching in hope it could make another drab, depressing day bearable. the films hilarious if you like laughing and watching an actual comedy go watch!!!


Oh my God i hav just got back from seeing this film, my mate convinced me to go - it is so stupid and boring - no one in the cinema larfed at all - they cannot all be anal retentives, can they? It is hard to take on board that one of film land's funniest actors (There's Somethink About Mary, Gaylord Focker in Meet the Parents, etc & Emmy Awarded) can fall so flat - Ben do not go here again - it won't help your career ... remember Eddie Murphy oh and Steve Martin.


Ben Stiller takes a whole bunch of cash and some of the best acting talent available and manages to cook up a dog of a movie. Even though you've paid your money it's still a major challenge to sit through this tripe; my partner left after 10 minutes for a coffee - but at least I can say I sat through one of the worst films for a decade. The locations, camera work and explosions are just fine but they alone do not rally this irritating lacklustre attempt at humour featuring fake guts, a dead panda and a maniac toddler with a rocket launcher. Try another movie instead - pay heed.


Please do not waste your money the far by worst film I have seen In my life . I had to walk out as it was so pitfull To cruise really bad and the humor where was it BAD BAD BAD SAVE YOUR MONEY


Yet again unsure what movie other people were watching but I found the first 20 minutes very slow, not too funny and was very worried about what i was about to sit through. However once they are dropped into the jungle for real the film really takes off, very funny...


LMBO a guaranteed laugh a minute, I will be honest some scenes are quite cringey but when they all go mad at the end it's very funny. End scene is brilliant. ****


LMBO a guaranteed laugh a minute, I will be honest some scenes are quite cringey but when they all go mad at the end it's very funny. End scene is brilliant. ****


How can people not find this funny ? Biting satire it clearly isn't, but laugh out loud it most certainly is . Go and have a good time and watch this movie, unless you are anally retentive !!


How can people not find this funny ? Biting satire it clearly isn't, but laugh out loud it most certainly is . Go and have a good time and watch this movie, unless you are anally retentive !!


oh come on! this film was what it was supposed to be, a complete mickey take! admittedly i didn't laugh all the way through and at times it was incredibly cringe worthy(nearly put borat to shame at certain bits!) but it's worth seeing even if it's just to see tom cruise and his amazing dancing at the end of the film. was in bits laughing!! if you've got an open mind, a couple of hours of your life to fill and you just want some mindless entertainment...go see.


This is the worst film I've ever seen. It's not funny, not well written or acted. It is so bad that we walked out after 20 minutes. A total disaster.


Sorry, this is a bad film, made me laugh just once when steve coogan makes a rapid exit from the film, like the other revives gags get repetaive, direction poor and terrible jokes and script, about as entertaining as a poke in the eyes.


I'm not sure if we all saw the same movie? Did you expect a serious depiction of the vietnamese conflict starring Jack Black and Ben Stiller??? It's a comedy!! I started laughing at the trailers in the beginning and stopped laughing as the credits rolled. It's bad-taste, it's silly, it's hilarious!! I cannot remember the last time I've laughed so hard at an American blockbuster (doesn't hurt having Ethan Cohen co-writing). Don't expect an expose of Hollywood movie making!! Did you think Anchorman was a documentary on journalism?? Go. Eat popcorn. Be entertained and offended.


I'm not sure if we all saw the same movie? Did you expect a serious depiction of the vietnamese conflict starring Jack Black and Ben Stiller??? It's a comedy!! I started laughing at the trailers in the beginning and stopped laughing as the credits rolled. It's bad-taste, it's silly, it's hilarious!! I cannot remember the last time I've laughed so hard at an American blockbuster (doesn't hurt having Ethan Cohen co-writing). Don't expect an expose of Hollywood movie making!! Did you think Anchorman was a documentary on journalism?? Go. Eat popcorn. Be entertained and offended.


the movie started really well and then nosedived after 20 minutes ,as the actors got lost in the forest so did the script .ben stiller is confused as director as to whether he is making a spoof or a serious take on hollywood's pampered stars or production problems and takes his theme into some very monotonous grounds like the stereotypes of vietcong fighters and the parody of platoon and glory ,also downey and stiller overact like everyone in scenes which require them to be downbeat but for most part it is a very loud movie with almost everyone shouting and explosions all around ,the worst was nick nolte and black jack who are disgraceful .the best bits were the trailers in the beginning which are hilarious and then it is rather mediocre with a very predictable premise ,matthew mcconaughey and tom cruise also seem to be forced into the script to show the hollywood stereotypes but there is nothing new about this spoof on hollywood -it has been done to bits before and half of hollywood turns up here in empty thunder with jokes about race ,stardom and piss .i am sure the stars had a better time making this movie then i had watching it -as it was rather dull most of the times .


The best film next to my two favorite "a night at the roxburry" and "the bird cage". Loved the actors, all of them did an outstanding role for each part! a must see.


The best film next to my two favorite "a night at the roxburry" and "the bird cage". Loved the actors, all of them did an outstanding role for each part! a must see.


That movie SUCKS all the anal juice out of my grandmas seeping pores and she has chlamydia!


I saw this movie yesterday and it was so fricken stupid I rather have a buffalo take diarrhea dump in my ear then watch it again. I thought Blades of Glory was better but everyone know that movie was horrible.


I just watched this movie last night and it wasn't all that funny. Hardly anyone laughed. Actually listening to my dad fart is a lot funner.


I'm apparently the only one here who loved this movie. I thought it was friggin hilarious.


I'm apparently the only one here who loved this movie. I thought it was friggin hilarious.


All the guys I was with loved this movie, I thought it was just plain stupid and can't recommend it. I guess it depends on your maturity level.


Summer sleeper, certainly NOT summer block buster. Save money and watch it on TV Links. It's sure to show up there any day now.


With all the hype and controversy, I was expecting a cutting edge film. Instead, all I got was the same old tired male teen style of humor. Nothing sophisticated about it. It's boring and predictable at best, offensive and uncomfortable at it's worst.


Terrible show. I can't believe they would sink so much money into this film and have such garbage content. Don't waste your time.


Stay at home and watch a DVD - this movie is a turkey. Advocacy groups for people with developmental disabilities called for a boycott due to a hateful representation of a character with an intellectual disability and bullying language that will ring through the halls of schools this fall. They are doing a great service to theater patrons - no matter how much hype critics and DreamWorks PR machine heap on, this is a stinker. Movie patrons will enjoy any other movie at the multiplex more than this one - watching preteens play video games in the lobby is more entertaining.


Tropic thunder is a hilarious take on hollywood movie culture that insults us idiots who go see these pictures and the people who make them, but its all good fun and Robert Downey junior shows his acting chops in ways I never seen anyone do in a comedy and chops i never knew he had.


Seriously, why'd you bother reviewing this film. Judging by this and some of your other reviews, its pretty clear that unlike successful critics, you can't watch movies and judge them on their own merits. You instead approach every "mainstream" film with the same art-house-cafe-latte-soul-patch snobbery. Go back to wetting yourself over Woody Allen's new film.

Show More