A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated R for some language, violence, puppet sex and crude humor
Starring:Matt Stone and Trey Parker
Directed By:Trey Parker
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you gave the warped minds behind south park puppets to play with? Apparently someone wondered the exact same thing and Paramount Pictures green lit Team America World Police.
South Park Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the madmen behind a little show called South Park. For those of you who live in a cardboard box (which makes me wonder if you live in a cardboard box, how do you have Internet and read my column), let me explain South Park to you. South Park is what looks like a low budget cartoon show for an adult audience that tells the story of weird happenings to a bunch of foul mouthed children in the town of South Park, Colorado. Since the show debuted it became in Instant hit and Matt and Trey have been known as comedic geniuses by many. They Started to crank out live action films like Orgasmo (the story of a Mormon Porn Star Superhero) and Baseketball (the story of two losers who create a game that is a cross of baseball and basketball). They also churned out a full-length animated feature film entitled South Park Bigger longer and Uncut.
Team America World Police is the first time the duo has worked with puppets. The two use marionettes to tell the tale of a secret American organization called Team America and their on going mission to defeat terrorism and protecting America from what they say could be 911 times 1000 (which they point out is 911,000). In order to stop the evil terrorist Headed up by North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il, Team America recruits the help of an actor named Gary. With their new team member on board, the team must stop Kim Jong Il before he releases his weapons of Mass destruction on the world.
Team America is one of the funnier things I have seen all year. From start to finish it was a hilarious satire of a Michael Bay Film (Pearl Harbor, The Rock. Bad Boys) mixed with a diluted political message. Matt and Trey found a way to make each scene funny in some way, even if it was just the ridiculous antics of marionettes killing off terrorists. The dialogue is heavy on the Language and homosexual innuendo but provides some good laughs. What I thought really made the film entertaining was that Matt and Trey made Team America look like Bullies and saviors of the world at the same time. As a viewer you have no idea by the end what their political agenda was, or if they had one at all. Is it for republicans, democrats or who knows who cares! The point is they find enough ways to make both sides look bad and it’s highly entertaining.
The marionettes and the Set design in this film look great. The puppet sets are wonderfully constructed and someone with an eye for details can pick apart the sets and the creative uses of house hold items like spoons etc in each scene. The puppets themselves look great as well, especially the puppets that are made in likeness of Hollywood Stars Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Matt Damon, Michael Moore and of course Kim Jong Il.
But what really makes Team America World Police Stand out is the Music. Written by Trey Parker (who pretty much does all the music and most of the voices in his films) the songs include a country western ballad about the price of Freedom (a buck o five ($1.05)), the Team America Hard rock theme (which is basically him singing AMERICA! F*ck Yeah!) And training Montage song that makes fun of training montages in film. Add all of those in with a great Ballad called “I’m Lonely” sung By Kim Jong Il and a Song called “Pearl harbor Sucked.” In the Pearl Harbor Sucks song Trey Informs us the main character Needs his team member more than Ben Affleck Needs acting lessons and more than Michael Bay Missed the point of Pearl Harbor. If nothing else the hilarious musical score for this film is worth the ticket along.
The problem with the film is that it isn’t for everyone. There are puppet sex scenes that are very graphic for puppets and a vomit scene that didn’t feel like it was needed at all. The sex scene was actually cut down so the film could get an R rating. Who would have guessed puppets having sex would gain an NC-17 rating on it’s first cut? The film is crude and full of foul language and while I say I enjoy it I once again say it’s not for everyone. Toilet humor works sometimes and Trey and Matt seem to be the masters when it comes to making it work.
With that in mind should you go watch Team America World Police? If you are a fan of South Park or the foul mouthed films by Kevin Smith then this should be right up your alley and should be a cult classic in a couple of years. It’s two people with just as crude of a mind as yours with a big budget and puppets. You should have a great time. If you aren’t one of those people, while I still recommend it reader beware you may be offended.