Anthony's Film Review
Team America: World Police (2004)
An amusing satire from the South Park guys...
Team America: World Police is a film by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, famous for their animated TV series South Park. Like South Park, the film incorporates satire, offensive humor, and simplistic animation into one mixed bag. The animation, in this case, is not really animation with drawings. It's not really live action with actors either. Rather, it's live action with wooden marionettes, mainly inspired by an old television series called Thunderbirds.
The first few minutes of the film have an awkward feel to it. That's because the audience needs to be accustomed to the look of puppets playing the characters. The movements are clearly not lifelike and their strings are seen throughout the whole film. However, once a few minutes pass, the overall look of a puppet movie is forgotten. One can literally sink into the film itself and no longer care about how fake it looks. In fact, there is much realism to appreciate for this puppet movie.
The story begins with the members of Team America stopping terrorists in Paris, France. One member of Team America is killed. Spottswoode, the leader of Team America, looks for a replacement. He discovers Gary Johnston, an actor at a Broadway musical where he and the cast sing "Everybody's Got AIDS." Seeing that Gary is a good actor, Spottswoode offers him an opportunity to join Team America. Spying is nothing more than acting, so Gary may be a natural choice.
Team America is then given their next assignment: to prevent a major terrorist attack by infiltrating a tavern in Cairo, Egypt. How big is this attack? As Spottswoode says, as big as 9/11 times 100 (which is 91,100). Just when they think their mission is a success, they face other threats, including more Middle-Eastern terrorists, Kim Jung Il, anti-war Hollywood celebrities, and Michael Moore.
Like South Park, the humor in Team America can sometimes be disgusting, offensive to certain people or individuals, or both. The one scene that is unnecessarily gross is when Gary vomits profusely and almost continuously for a little over 20 seconds. The offensive humor mainly consists of the celebrities portrayed. Parker and Stone have no limits in insulting them, especially with Michael Moore and how he meets his demise. As for the infamous edited puppet sex scene, there is no genitalia on the puppets, but they clearly have no clothes and move their bodies in almost every sexual position conceivable. My favorite scene, however, involves a witty monologue using three profane words in an unexpectedly creative way.
While Team America: World Police is not a very hilarious movie, it has a creative story that kept me engrossed the entire one hour and 40 minutes. The characters are believable, as wooden and artificial as they are. The songs are interesting and catchy enough to bring a smile to one's face. The movie is not a film for the squeamish or easily offended, but for the rest, it is a fun ride that definitely is a send-up of Jerry Bruckheimer action pictures. Team America is a film that will make you laugh, smile, and sing "America: F--- Yeah!"
For more information about Team America: World Police, visit the Internet Movie Database.