Tropic Thunder (2008)

tropic thunder (2008) movie poster 4 of 5 rating  (4/5) comedy – action – adventure

Reference: imdb6 | wikipedia12

Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 83% | Metacritic 71%

In Tropic Thunder (2008) a frustrated director (Steve Coogan) sends his actors into the jungle (filmed in Hawaii) to make a more realistic Vietnam-era film. Local drug runners mistake the actors as Drug Enforcement Officers. The actors mistake the drug runners for other actors attempting to induce better performances. Comedy ensues.

I liked Tropic Thunder a lot. I laughed a lot. The cinematography was beautiful.

tropic thunder (2008) ben stiller, jack black, robert downy jr and cast 

It has a large ensemble case.  Ben Stiller plays a an actor attempting to prop up a sagging action star career. Matthew McConaughey plays his agent – seemingly willing to do anything to keep his cash-cow of a client working. Jack Black plays a low-brow comic actor not concerned with much more than his next drug fix. Nick Nolte plays a Vietnam vet. The movie being made is based on his book.

tropic thunder (2008) ben stiller flees an exploding bridge  tropic thunder (2008) opening helicopter scene

Despite this being Ben Stiller’s film (he directed it), it’s Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise’s movie.

tropic thunder (2008) tom cruise playing less grossman and looking like james lipton Tom Cruise, dressed up in a fat suit and a bald-cap (looking a lot like James Lipton), played a wonderful, small part as an egomaniacal producer. the character is rumored to be modeled after Harvey Weinstein. Stiller hinted in a recent Charlie Rose interview that a spin-off staring Cruise’s Les Grossman character may be in the works. Tom was spectacularly good in this completely atypical role.

tropic thunder (2008) Robert Downey Jr. explains how to not go full out retard Robert Downey Jr. was outstanding as a Russell Crowe-inspired, Australian actor, playing a black man, playing a solider. As his character, Kirk Lazarus, put it:

"I know who I am. I’m a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude."

His performance is a MUST see. But for Heath Ledger’s inspired performance in The Dark Knight, Downey Jr. would/should have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor here.

A bit of trivia: Owen Wilson was supposed to play the Matthew McConaughey role but dropped out after his suicide attempt in August 2007.

If you want a good laugh, I recommend Tropic Thunder.

tropic thunder (2008) $2M special effects scene ruined because actors wanted a break