TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (Matt Stone, 2004)
SOUTH PARK’S Trey Parker and Matt Stone bring their vulgar brand of comedy to the marionette action film TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE. A foul-mouthed THUNDERBIRDS-like fighting force travels around the globe to battle terrorists. For their latest mission they recruit a great stage actor to infiltrate a terrorist cell.
The first half of Parker and Stone’s audacious film contains some of the funniest moments from any movie this year. Their merciless mockery of Hollywood action clichés, particularly those found in Jerry Bruckheimer’s productions, couldn’t be more accurate. That puppets are reenacting the carnage, and in one scene, vigorous gymnastic lovemaking, makes it even funnier. Stone and Parker also get comedic mileage from the limitations of working with puppets, sneaking in postmodern jokes regarding the difficulty of executing precise marionette movements. The gags aren’t quite as inspired in TEAM AMERICA’S second half. Parker and Stone stoop to borderline homophobic humor and espouse questionable politics. Those issues aside, TEAM AMERICA is probably worth seeing for the extreme makeover scene alone. And when’s the last time a film has challenged MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE for the best projectile vomiting scene? TEAM AMERICA isn’t for the easily offended, but for those with stronger constitutions, it's worth a look.
(Review first aired on the October 26, 2004 NOW PLAYING)