Saturday, 19 September 2020
Team America: World Police
Sunday, 24 October 2004 16:52

Team AmericaOffensive, vulgar, and very, very funny.

Aahh, Paris. A beautiful day. The streets bustling; children eating ice-cream; terrorists hanging out at the water fountain. TERRORISTS at the water fountain?! Who can possibly save us? Team America, that's who! Highly skilled American patriots who obliterate everything standing in the way of freedom. We're talking puppets not afraid to take action! Guns, rocket launchers, missiles, you name it! Goodbye quaint bistros... goodbye tourists... goodbye Louvre... but most importantly, goodbye terrorists!

In order to (what else?) rule the world, Kim Jong II, the cute and cuddly leader of North Korea, hatches a plan to sell his weapons of mass destruction to the highest bidders. Team America must recruit someone who can help them infiltrate the terrorist network and put a stop to Jong's plan.

They need an actor. And not just any actor. They need Gary Johnston, star of the Broadway Musical "LEASE". Equipped with only his state of the art disguise, his acting chops can get him in or out of any situation. However the plot thickens when members of the Film Actors Guild (acronym alert) join up with Jong! Fronted by Alec Baldwin, the celebrity activists will stop at nothing to spread their message to the masses.

America! $#*& YEAH!Remember "The Thunderbirds"? No, not the box office flop of the summer, but that childhood show starring those creepy super-marionettes. Finally these realistic puppets have made a come back! Written, co-directed, and largely voiced by Trey Parker, one of the twisted minds that brought us "South Park", tackles every controvertial subject imaginable. AIDS awareness, war against terrorism, Michael Moore documentaries; nothing is taboo here.

That's not to say that the humor is high brow. Far from it. The fowl language, violence, and crude humor can sometimes be a little over the top. Not to mention a graphic puppet sex scene that almost earned the film an NC-17 rating! Parents, don't be fooled, this one isn't for the kids.

I found myself noticing how closely Team America resembles the recent crop of big budget patriotism films. Lampooning such heavy hitters as 'Pearl Harbor', and 'The Sum of All Fears' it follows the Hollywood formula perfectly. The evil foreign leader, the hero, the love story, and the last second countdown to mass destruction... it's all here!

Yoooouuuuuu....This leads me to another product of formula film making... songs! Come on, we all know them. Those film songs that plague the radio all day, sung by Phil, Brian and Celine. Though not a musical strictly speaking, 'Team' is loaded with memorable music. The theme song "America, #?$!% Yeah!" , is used throughout during action sequences. We hear music from every genre including a love ballad ("Pearl Harbor Sucked and I Miss You") and the clever rock song "Montage". Trust me, it will have your toe tapping for days.

If you are put off by crude humor, sexual content and other offensive situations, avoid this one. It probably isn't for you. Usually those things don't appeal to me either. However, if after reading this you still have any interest in seeing "Team America: World Police" get some friends together, go, laugh, and quote lines afterward. I have a feeling that this is one that will develop a cult following.

If you liked Team America, also check out:
South Park: The Movie
Thumb Wars