Tropic Thunder ending explained

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In the film’s climax, Tugg Speedman (who has been captured by members of the Flaming Dragon and forced to re-enact his role from the fictional comedy “Simple Jack”) is rescued by the other actors, who infiltrate the Flaming Dragon camp in disguise. The actors all flee the camp in a hail of gunfire and destroy a bridge using the movie’s excessive pyrotechnics, cutting off the pursuit of the Flaming Dragon gang members.

The cast all manage to board a helicopter and are about to escape when Flaming Dragon’s 12-year-old gang leader Tran (Brandon Soo Hoo) fires an RPG at the vehicle. In perhaps one of the funniest examples of “deus ex machina” in movie history, Tugg’s agent Rick Peck (Matthew McConaughey) suddenly emerges from the forest with a TiVo DVR. Earlier in the film, we learned that Tugg’s contract for “Tropic Thunder” entitled him to a TiVo, which producer Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) never provided. The implication here is that Peck flew to the Golden Triangle and braved an entire war-torn jungle just to provide his client with said TiVo. As the RPG is about to collide with the helicopter, Peck throws the TiVo box into the air, where it jams the oncoming RPG and explodes.

So the TiVo ends up saving the day and the cast flies to safety as Peck cheers from below. This final escape scene manages to capture everything that makes “Tropic Thunder” so great: delivering a thrilling action climax in an absurd and absolutely hilarious way.

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