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Tropic Thunder (2008)

By Noelle Buffam · March 19, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy

Movie Time: 107 minutes


Tugg Speedman’s (Ben Stiller) future career rests on the film Tropic Thunder – a film based on the memoirs of John “Four Leaf” Tayback (Nick Nolte). Unfortunately, filming is going terribly. It all accumulates when the crew detonates an explosion at the wrong time – causing millions in lost production expenses. (00:12:13)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

The film is such a catastrophe that the director decides to drop off the actors in the middle of the jungle and film them “guerrilla style.” He plants cameras to capture the actor’s authentic reactions. Unfortunately, no one knows that the actors have been planted in the middle of a drug war lead by the “Flaming Dragons.” (00:22:45)


While everyone else – including Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) – acknowledges that they are lost, Speedman refuses to give up on the “film” and continues on to the next “scene.” The other actors split up, trying to find their way home. (00:45:25)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

When Speedman is captured and tortured by the Flaming Dragons, the actors realize that this is not an elaborate movie. It is real life, and they are in danger. The actors rescue Speedman, Tayback, and Underwood (Danny McBride) in an elaborate scheme based on the film’s script. (01:18:13)


Speedman returns to the Flaming Dragons to rescue a child he bonded with – his “son.” Seconds later he appears, screaming that he was wrong. The child is stabbing him in the back. Literally. (01:33:28)