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DVD Review: Tropic Thunder

DVD Review: Tropic Thunder


Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. lead an ensemble cast in “Tropic Thunder,” an action comedy about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they enoucter real bad guys.

A couple years back, Hollywood was rumor central about one of the biggest star-driven, action comedies to come our way in ages. An action comedy about a war with more than six big-name actors leading the way was enough to excite just about anybody. Some odd months later, Tropic Thunder blew up the big screen, jarring everyone’s mind.

Sergeant Four Leaf Tayback (Nick Nolte), a prisoner of war who lived to tell his famous story, is invited on the set of a film called “Tropic Thunder,” so he can help director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) bring his traumatic war experience to the silver screen. Unlike most stories, to be able to tell an exciting rescue mission of such epic proportions, Cockburn knows he needs an all-star cast to bring in the green. Action star Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), whose films have started to decline like a bad Steven Seagal career, is the first to sign on board. Academy Award winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) is right behind him, but for this role he’ll need a skin pigment surgery to play an African American Sergeant in the film. Finally, comedian Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) will add to the laughs as the comic relief. With a well-rounded cast of leading men, the actors set out into the jungle to make the best war film of all time. The only problem is that the men are about to run into a group of rebel soldiers who mean business, but the actors think they are all just part of the production. Side-splittingly funny situations come and go as the group of rag tag actors fight for survival when they get in over their heads with what could be their very last role. Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey play supporting cameo roles behind the scenes, as a greedy Hollywood exec with a mouth that makes George Carlin look like a nun, and as Stiller’s “loving life,” happy-go lucky talent agent.

I have to say that you can’t get any more “bang for your buck” than with a movie like this. It was funny from start to finish and definitely a must own. Robert Downey Jr’s role as a white man playing a macho, African American Sergeant was beyond amazing. Tom Cruise single-handedly earned my respect back after his walk off the planet a few years back by playing a role of a greedy Hollywood tycoon. Everything that comes out of his mouth is unbelievable. If the movie didn’t have Ben Stiller and Jack Black, who are both comedy gold mines, it still would have been a power house. Make sure that you check this movie out as soon as you can! I guarantee you’ll laugh yourself sick.

Pick up the Blu-ray DVD for tons of extra special features including deleted scenes, extended sequences, an alternate ending, cast commentary, lots of HD featurettes, and more!

Review by Charlie Giltenboth

Grade: A-
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