TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE


2004

DIRECTOR: Trey Parker

AMERICA! F**K YEAH! The theme’s lyrics sum up this movie as well as any could have. Made in the midst of the War On Terror in 2004, a satire was needed and who better to provide one than the satirical genius’ Trey Parker and Matt Stone, best known for South Park. On the surface, this looks like a straight forward bawdy adult puppet parody, taking the mickey out of Bruckheimer’s blockbusters, Thunderbirds and the reputation being acquired by the U.S. over the past 30 years but reaching boiling point over the last decade, certainly in a post 9/11 world.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is looking into every major aspect of the above, such as chauvinism, the political interference and undue, and sometimes dangerous influence of celebrities, summed up here with the Film Actor’s Guild (or F.A.G.) with a host of major film stars ripped off, notably upsetting Sean Penn. The infamous puppet sex scene, which is nothing more than a poke, pardon the pun, at the puppetry employed in the film.

But there’s so much more such as the excellent selection of bespoke songs, such as “Only A Woman” for the sex scene, “End Of An Act” as our hero leaves the group to wallow in self-pity to the song with features verse after verse nothing more than slagging off Michael Bay’s, Pearl Harbor and Ben Afleck! But for a film with criticises these blockbusters, it understands them too well to be truly nasty about them.

The entire film IS a well made Bruckheimer film, even recruiting one of his regular composers, Harry Gregson-Williams, to be in at the last-minute, to compose a great score, but why do this if they hated it so much? They don’t; they love these films and the affection for the genre is clear, making their digs enjoyable and not hurtful… There’s even a contradiction with the political tract as one hand this would seem to be an anti-American tome where Team America blow up every city and landmark imaginable in order to protect the world from the destruction of the Terrorists… Get it?

On the other, the song entitled “Freedom Isn’t Free” would seem to suggest that we should all do our part, even though this number ends with the line, “Freedom cost a buck o’five…” But then after all the political and social satire, and the spoofing of Hollywood’s gung-ho films, it’s just a fun film.

When the terrorist’s come from Derka Derkastan, the tone is clear. This is like a pair of boys playing “War On Terror” with a collection of action figures. They’re clearly laughing hysterically as they write, produce and direct this film like two teenagers, as they create the highly insensitive language of the terrorists, use elements from films such as Star Wars and James Bond, certainly as for Kim Jong-il, is nobody safe, well not after offending the North Korean leader, but in all fairness, this is really just Eric Cartman from South Park.

But in the end, this is the perfect satire, with a blend of real world political and social commentary, great spoofing but when all’s said and done, this has a great sense if humour, though at times, somewhat bawdy. This is brilliant and one of, if not the best comedy of the past decade, and one of the greatest satires of all time. And, no, I don’t believe that I’m over stating that…

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