Team America better than Dr. Strangelove?

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Aiken, SC
    The Kansas City Star thinks so. I bet Trey and Matt are thrilled, there's really no higher praise a satirical film can get. I probably won't be able to see it until next weeknd, though.:(


    Team America: World Police” is this decade's “Dr. Strangelove.”

    Like Stanley Kubrick's classic Cold War satire, this cheeky and deliberately offensive effort from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone cuts through the political posing and rhetoric to lay bare certain painful truths.

    For example, America is now viewed by much of the world as the bullying sheriff who tries to impose his will on everyone else in town. And that pacifism in the face of unmitigated evil usually only perpetuates more unmitigated evil.

    Along the way “Team America” so perfectly parodies the lame clichés of Hollywood action films that you'll never again look at a Jerry Bruckheimer production with the usual brainless enthusiasm.

    It establishes a new standard for graphic sex and profanity in a mainstream movie and barely escaped being released with an NC-17 rating.

    And did I mention that it's populated entirely by marionettes?

    Embracing the deliberately low-tech visual style of the old “Thunderbirds” TV kids' show, “Team America” starts off with a bang as the guys and gals of Team America swoop down on Paris to foil a terrorist plot. (“You in the robe … put down the weapon of mass destruction and get on the ground!”)

    In the process our heavily armed guys in red, white and blue manage to level both the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre (“Damn, I missed!”). Still, they reduce the evildoers to gory ribbons.

    But they don't get away unscathed. One of their members is ambushed and killed seconds after proposing marriage to fellow Team American Lisa, a hot blonde who specializes in terrorist psychology. She's devastated.

    Down one good man, the impeccably suited, cigarette puffing Spottswoode (the Professor Xavier of this bunch) goes looking for someone who can infiltrate the terrorist network. He sets his sights on Gary Johnston, a blue-eyed hunk currently starring on Broadway in “Lease — The Musical,” where nightly he reduces grown heterosexual men to tears with his rendition of the anthem “Everybody Has AIDS.”

    Soon the actor finds himself in Team America's secret headquarters inside the presidential heads on Mount Rushmore, undergoing radical surgery so that he can pass himself off as an Arab.

    And of course he finds himself drawn to the mourning Lisa, with whom he explores most of the positions from the Kama Sutra in a perfectly edited and devastatingly funny sex sequence. It's particularly hilarious because Gary has no genitals. (You've got to wonder why ... how expensive could one more string be?)

    Meanwhile lisping North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il is scheming to overcome his inferiority complex by supplying atomic bombs to terrorists around the world. He's a ruthless little creep, but perhaps he's not all bad. As he reveals in his big musical number, the mournful “I'm So Ronery,” everybody needs a friend.

    Parker and Stone (who in addition to writing the screenplay also provide most of the voices) are equal opportunity offenders. If they mercilessly flay our revitalized jingoism, they're equally critical of the left's wimpiness.

    Kim Jong Il has American dupes who are unwittingly helping him in his scheme. The members of the Film Actor's Guild (F.A.G.) are — under the leadership of Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Martin Sheen and other famous, opinionated folk — attempting to peacefully placate the ruthless dictator.

    And if none of this succeeds in offending you, just wait for the longest vomiting sequence in the history of cinema.

    On the surface, much of “Team America's” humor is hair-raisingly crude.

    But it's also devastatingly, side-achingly funny. And beneath the crass sex talk, explosive profanity and gross-out violence (who knew puppets were full of blood?), this film is dead serious about the issues it so mercilessly dissects.

    This is simply one of the best — if not the best — films of the year.

Share This Page