Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Team America: World Police


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.

Grade: B

(Review first aired on the October 26, 2004 NOW PLAYING)


  1. I came across your review on rottentomatoes.com. And you could not be more wrong about Team America's second half. It's merciless shredding of idiot Hollywood liberals collaborating with terrorists and the enemies of the United States--indeed opposing any defensive move the US could make--is so dead-on I found myself cheering. Parker and Stone also satirize conservatives but liberals get the lion's share of the slogging because they deserve it. Terrorists have to be fought. Flying to their capitals and fawning over them, a la Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey, needs to be called on the carpet and--at the very least--ridiculed mercilessly. The South Park duo accomplish this flawlessly and with an unerring eye for the Left's hypocrisy, stupidity and condescension. What could be better the satirical scythe taken to Bruckheimer and Bay's worst efforts? The sledgehammer taken to fools like George Clooney and Alec Baldwin. And, it's just that simple.

  2. To "News Junkie":
    I bet you considered Team America's approach to diplomacy in the first half of the movie a good idea.

    Anyway, if you think that Hollywood somehow poses a threat to our foreign policy, or even that terrorists absolutely "have" to be fought, you should lobotomize yourself and do us all a favor.