Comedy about a group of pompous actors making the most expensive Vietnam war movie ever made. The 'cast' includes an action star (Ben Stiller), a comedian (Jack Black), an Australian Oscar-winner (Robert Downey Jr.) and a rapper-turned-actor (Brandon T. Jackson). Fed up with his self-involved cast, the film's director (Steve Coogan) drops them into the jungle to take care of themselves, where they get caught up in a conflict they don't realise is real. The cast also includes Nick Nolte and cameos from Tom Cruise and Tobey Maguire.... More
Downey Jr's character is an Oscar-winner who takes on a role originally written for a black actor. Rather than re-write the part, he dyes his skin black. Downey Jr says, "If it's done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago. If you don't do it right, we're going to hell."
This film is Stiller's first as director since Zoolander, and could upset a lot of sensitive people (Stiller's character adopts an Asian baby but worries "that all the good ones have gone"). Apparently he got the idea over twenty years ago while shooting Empire of the Sun.Hide
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BY Flicks Writer
Since Zoolander, Ben Stiller's last directorial effort, the Judd Apatow set has hit big, blending laughs and pathos, and you can tell that Stiller has upped his game as a result. Not only is Tropic Thunder cheek-aching funny, it's also satirical, cleverly plotted, thrilling in places and has a real beating heart. As stupid as its main characters may be, by the end you actually do care whether they make it.
Stiller's Tugg Speedman is the anchor point - Apocalypse Now's Colonel Kurtz in 'dumb action star' form. Meanwhile, Black gets to mock himself, Stiller and every other overpaid Hollywood screwball as drug-hoover Jeff Portnoy, star of The Fatties, a fart-based movie series in which he plays all the characters (sound familiar, Eddie Murphy?).
But it's Downey Jr., as method actor Kirk Lazarus, who makes the film. Every time he speaks, every noise he makes, hell, every time his pigment-altered face appears, it's a riot, walking a satirical line between ignorantly racist and innocently insecure to perfection. Steve Coogan’s part in the film is all too brief, but his exit is the funniest moment you’ll see on film this year and it's Downey Jr.'s deadpan confusion that really makes it.
Throw in Tom Cruise shrieking: "Now take a step back, and fuck your own face!" as hairy-armed R&B-loving studio exec Les Grossman and you've got an ensemble to die for, in a film that makes the most of it. Tropic Thunder could easily have been a crass spoof, or a disjointed skit-based affair. It isn't – it works, and you'll be quoting it for months.
The Peoples' Reviews
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Lots of good bits but didn't live up to the hype. A fun night out but Stiller basically does his usual thing and Jack Black is not as good as he usually is. Downey Jr is what makes this movie rise above mediocre - having proved he is back in a big way with Iron Man, this movie showcases his comedic chops to great effect.
BY Andrew-Hedley superstar
I enjoyed the look of this film. Big orange fireballs against the green jungle, etc. I liked the characters and the Vietnam imagery (even if the musical choices were a bit predictable). But unfortunately, I didn't find it particularly funny. I probably laughed more in No Country For Old Men, to be blunt. There are moments of tedium in Tropic Thunder, and the film drags. Despite a promising beginning, this film didn't live up to the hype.
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