Sunday, March 8, 2015

Movie Review: "Team America: World Police" (2004)

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Movie"Team America: World Police"
Director: Trey Parker
Year: 2004
Ratig: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

An elite American special forces group combats terrorists throughout the world. For their latest mission, they need the help of an actor to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Cairo. They enlist the help of a Broadway actor named Gary Johnston (Trey Parker) for the operation. On his mission, Gary uncovers a plot for a massive terrorist attack to be unleashed on the world soon, but political and social turmoil back home, led by the Hollywood elite, may threaten the group's very existence. 

America, fuck yeah!

As we have come to expect from anything put out by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, "Team America" follows suit with this raunchy, offensive, irreverent and hilarious film. It is both a satire of early to mid-2000's United States politics and foreign policy, as well as a parody of Hollywood action films with their excessive, violent nature. The United States has had a history of being touted as 'the world police,' and Stone and Parker take this notion and multiply it by one hundred. With huge tanks and helicopters that brandish the American flag, Team America goes about its business sticking its nose in world politics where it wasn't requested or sometimes even when it wasn't needed, causing accidents left and right. The team bumbles and fumbles their way around the planet looking to be the world's watch dog before returning to Mount Rushmore, which of course, is their operational base. Full of good ol' American imagery like the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, Stone and Parker have found a brilliant way to slyly merge humor with political discourse and puppets in this much needed, wisecracking, poignant and profane post-9/11 romp.

The dynamic duo never holds back when it comes to their movies, especially considering they can get away with a lot more in film than they can on Comedy Central. From liberals to republicans, from terrorists to actors, from Broadway shows to entire countries, everyone is a target during a Matt and Trey production. Instead of cartoon drawings a la "South Park" or a live action portrayal like "Orgazmo," this movie is made with the use of marionettes, which might actually help with the overly and intentionally offensive nature of the film. The great thing about their use of marionettes is the fact that they don't try to hide that they are using puppets, and instead, use this as another vehicle for additional humor. For example, there are fight scenes between two characters where they bump into each other while wiggling their little plastic selves around wildly, almost becoming entangled in each other's limbs. The characters often clearly (and hilariously) miss their mark as they shush people on their eyes instead of their mouths. Also, as with anything done by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this movie is full of music and their songs might be some of the funniest parts of the film. In fact, we love this soundtrack so much that we own it on CD. CD! How long has it been since you've seen a CD!? Probably not since this movie was made in 2004. Songs like "Everyone has Aids", "Freedom isn't Free", "Only a Woman", and of course, "America, Fuck Yeah!" and its bummer remix all make us laugh in an uproarious fashion and completely fit with the overall politically incorrect nature of the movie. 

It is important to note before viewing this movie that it is not for the faint of heart and yes, as we mentioned above, Matt and Trey's 'leave no stone unturned' attitude when it comes to mocking anyone and everything can be very, very offensive to some people. There are at least 300 F-bombs, racially divisive humor, anti-gay humor, anti-Muslim humor (well, really more anti-terrorist humor, but you know), jokes against many, many popular and prominently outspoken Hollywood actresses and actors, puppet murder, a marionette sex scene that lasts an uncomfortably long length of time, and fecal humor (sometimes even more literally than you might think). Just because it's a type of animation does not mean it's for kids, and we certainly mean it when it comes to "Team America," but if you enjoy "South Park," chances are, you'll love this movie.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Ghostbusters"

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