Review: Team America: World Police

It's been a while I've been to see something made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, generally because it's hard to see their deliberately offensive material when there's kids in the house. Even so, one likes their ability to take pot shots at almost everyone. Last night's movie had its share. Last night's movie also had its share of humor that was a little too repetitive.

The premise of the movie, as rewritten by Fox News to be readable by the general public, is that people in the world fall into three groups: sissies, jerks, and psychos. It's up to the jerks to stop the psychos and up to the sissies to keep the jerks from being totally carried away. It's a decent premise, although the way it was presented was offensive to my wife and she rejected the message on that basis.

However, much of the movie is spent being rude to beloved or hated icons. Seems enough like satire to me. Most actors and entertainers who speak about politics are fair game. Michael Moore gets particularly unbecoming attention as a putrid, fat suicide bomber. The movie Pearl Harbor and Ben Affleck are derided in song (although it gives credit to Cuba Gooding, Jr.). Most of the actors pictured were unliked by me before the movie started, because of their idiotic statements in the past not because of what they do in the movie.

Some of the in-jokes about movie-making were paricularly uproarious for me. The ong “Montage” had me rolling on the floor. I snickered when a marionette tried to point to the heart of another. I loved the goldfish in the background of the submarine scenes. And the ferocious “panthers” were not to be missed. Nods were mode to movies, especially Kill Bill and Thunderbirds. Almost any action movie cliche gets coverage. Even the stroll through Washington, DC to see the monuments to our forefathers is ironically pictured with puppets in familiar poses.

I suspect I was one of the few that got the philosophical in-joke of calling the bad guys “malignant narcissists.” Tammy Bruce will be so happy. Too bad many conservatives won't see this movie because it is so offensive.

Many have noticed the irony of the Team America destroying cultural treasures wherever they go to defeat terrorists. I found that to be funny. Although I admit I don't have a lot of love for the bribe-taking French so there was no love lost, for me, to see the destruction of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc d'Triomphe, or the Louvre. The rampage in Egypt was similar but not as heart-felt.

Scatalogical humor abounds, including puppet sex, throwing up, bad words, sodomy and the memorable theme song. Par for the course for these South Park creators.

The movie will offend most, and it spends too much time on certain gruesome moments, but ultimately I liked it. I felt it picked more on the sissies than it did the jerks. I never really cared about the story of psychos except the indomitable Kim Jong Il. And to the chagrin of the actors depicted, I don't much care for them either. It's a pity that Matt and Trey did not use their Dubya and Kerry puppets that they made. It would have been nice to see them lampooned in Team America fashion.

Many in Hollywood are appalled because the message of the movie is generally supportive of the idea of pre-emptive war to stop psychos from destroying the world. Such is life. I'm glad that these two guys that made their fortunes non-traditionally can thumb their noses at Hollywood elitists. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted Saturday, Oct 16 2004 10:29 AM

Adjacent entries


« John Kerry vs. The Terrorism Nuisance
Tax “The Rich” »





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