Tropic Thunder movie review: A film crew is in Southeast Asia filming a Vietnam-war memoir. It's early in the shooting, but they're already behind schedule and over budget. On the day an accident befalls the novice director, the cast and crew are attacked by a gang of poppy-growing local drug dealers, except the cast and crew don't realize these aren't actors who are stalking them. The thugs kidnap Tugg Speedman, an actor whose star seems on the decline, and it's up to the rest of the ragtag team to band together long enough to attempt his rescue.
Catch it: Hey, an original idea for a comedy! With “Zoolander”-esque spunk, Tropic Thunder hilariously mocks many actors' inability to do what they pretend to do, the interchangeable nature of war movies and Hollywood's weakness for award-baiting seriousness. While the Lazarus character is really just there for shock value, Downey Jr.’s performance perfectly depicts an actor who’s gone too far and so believes in his transformation he’s unable to return to his real self.
Skip it: If you're thinking of lying about your time in the armed forces. As Cody (Danny McBride, “Pineapple Express”) explains, that's like punching the American flag in the face. Word!
Bottom line: Black really needs to get out of his wild man comfort zone, and the movie's premise loses freshness when the guys have to go in and make a real rescue. (It's also too bad Stiller doesn't question perceptions of the guys' foreign captors the same way he does with the actors.) But inspired cameos from Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey contribute to a film that might not add up to much but has more riotous moments than the last few Stiller and Black movies combined.
Box Office: Tropic Thunder opened in 3,319 theaters and, for its first five days of American and Canadian release, earned $36,845,588. The film placed first in the weekend's box office with $25,812,796, surpassing Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Mirrors, which debuted the same weekend. The film's U.S. and Canada gross of over $110 million made Tropic Thunder Stiller's most successful film as a director. The film has had gross receipts of $110,515,313 in the U.S. and Canada and $77,557,336 in international markets for a total of $188,072,649 worldwide.
Wikipedia: Tropic Thunder
Official movie site: Tropic Thunder
Watch the trailer below!