Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus as Lincoln Osiris in Tropic Thunder. Screenshot from Tropic Thunder.
Tropic Thunder is one of the funniest war movies ever made. It’s a movie about a movie that’s about a book, starring a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude. The 2008 action-comedy was immensely popular when it was released and has only acquired more of a following since, especially in the mil-vet community.
The short promotional film also is a parody of Hearts of Darkness, the 1991 documentary that chronicled the disastrous production of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The mockumentary includes all the major actors from Tropic Thunder and adds an entirely new level of hilarity to the movie. Originally released just weeks after Tropic Thunder as a marketing tool, the faux behind-the-scenes look is so politically incorrect it would never fly today. Watch it in its entirety for free here.
The whole mockumentary is hilarious, but Robert Downey Jr. steals the show. More than eight minutes of the roughly 30-minute film are dedicated to Downey Jr.’s eccentric Kirk Lazarus, the white method actor cast to play a Black soldier. The fictional Lazarus plunges so deeply into his study of Staff Sgt. Lincoln Osiris that he develops severe post-traumatic stress. In his commitment to the role, Lazarus demands to have the family of Osiris flown across the world to live with him, where he subsequently tortures them with his psychotic behavior. The video is as funny as it is strange.
For fans of Tropic Thunder, the mockumentary is guaranteed to make you laugh, but for anyone not familiar with the movie, it will be one of the weirdest videos you’ll ever watch. The Osiris character’s screen time has been compiled into a single video. Once you watch his highlight reel, you’ll be eager to watch the rest of Rain of Madness.
Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served in the US Marine Corps and is a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.
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