Team America: World Police

TeamAmericaWPOffensive or inquisitive? That’s the question you have to ask yourself before you see the politically charged comedy from the seemingly fearless comedy team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

The title Team America: World Police says enough on its own, but these creators of TV’s “South Park” go much further than anyone could imagine with biting satire combined with the action movie genre.

This puppeteer movie features memorable songs, decent sets/environments, plenty of great jokes and gags (literally) supported by credible filmmakers including producer Scott Rudin, Paramont’s venerable mainstay who helped forge Wonder Boys, The Hours and The Truman Show and cinematographer Bill Pope (Spider-Man 2, The Matrix).

Each member of the team has their own personal hang-up/background as they recklessly defend the planet from all terrorist threats including the main antagonist, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il.

Parker and Stone handle most of the voices and wrote the screenplay with fellow South Park writer Pam Brady full of cheesy lines like “feelings are feelings because we can’t control them” and “believing is all we have”.

They make fun of themselves as filmmakers and pay homage to popular films like Star Wars as much as they rip into targeted celebrities in the “film actors guild” (yes, there’s endless references from the acronym).

It’s the same style of humor in a different format were they anticipate audience reaction very well. You see a lot of surprisingly impressive filming techniques like fadeouts, but it’s not long before Parker and Stone launch into a hilarious Rocky-like montage song where they explain how the techniques “show the passing of time” in the verses.

The numerous original songs including a Team America theme song, a sad song disguised as a slam on Pearl Harbor and a patriotic song with a “freedom costs a buck o’ five” chorus.

The laughs keep coming through some hilarious sight gags involving panthers, fight sequences, “super secret” hiding spots and a special signal used when in trouble. Other comedic elements get laughs even when repeated throughout the story including one disturbing sex act that appears three times and a drunken philosophy that places people into three crude categories featured in the film’s climax.

The movie is very topical and controversial, mostly because of the content, but still never offers any redeeming values. Still there are enough laughs to allow Parker and Stone to stay in the Hollywood game full of people they idolize and vilify.

Rated R for language, sex references, violence, sexual content, innuendo, crude humor…(you get the idea). The ending credits include a musical montage of all the original songs plus a new one about the “real” origin of Kim Jong Il.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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