Sunday, November 7, 2004

Team America: World Police (2004)

Starring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, et al
Rated R, 98 minutes

The early previews of this film suggested to me a straight parody of the “Thunderbirds” which was not terribly interesting, even given the Parker/Stone involvement which initially drew me towards it. It wasn’t until I read an article in class about the movie from Newsweek that I got more interested. It detailed the political commentary of the movie. Along the way, I also picked up the angle that it would parody Jerry Bruckheimer. And thus – I had to go.

Team America are a group of colorfully dressed soldiers who fight terror for our country. Gary Johnston, an actor, is their new recruit, who is to act like a terrorist to infiltrate their plans and thus help us win.

That’s all I really want to say. I truly believe going any further ruins the jokes. If you’re reading this review to decide if you want to see the movie, let me say this: if you like “South Park” then go see it. Easy as that. It’s no worse on the hit-and-miss scale as any episode of the show. If you don’t “get” South Park, then I’d still suggest giving it a try to see what you’ve been missing.

All of the funny comes from some of SP’s conventions – hilarious songs, inappropriate language at inappropriate times, and the mocking of popular figures and cultures among others. Put in the four boys and some romantic interest, you’d have an episode of “South Park.” Not a criticism really, just something to go on when you think about shelling out the dough to see it.

I’ve seen it twice, and it was solid both times. The plot isn’t anything new, but the characters and their reactions are. For that alone, “Team America” gets a solid recommendation. Now, I have a game show site where I usually break down whatever I review by category and weight it. In my movie reviews I plan to touch base with reviewing lots of stuff, so we’ll just go on a (very bad) five star scale. So “Team America: World Police” gets...


It’s how much I enjoyed it. Points docked? At least a quarter-star for some obvious and/or overplayed jokes in the film. Overall though, a must-see for comedy fans.

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