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An elite U.S. counter-terrorism squad loses a member while decimating half of Paris in the reckless pursuit of Middle Eastern maniacs; a Broadway actor with a traumatic childhood secret is naturally hired to replace him. Oh--and they're all marionettes.South Park maestros Trey Parker and Matt Stone (along with co-writer Pam Brady) came up with this shameless satire of pea-brained Hollywood action flicks and even smaller-minded global politics, so don't expect subtlety or even a hint of good taste.Team America is soon on the trail of North Korea's evil Kim Jong Il, who treats us to a tender song about his loneliness before ensnaring Alec Baldwin and the rest of the oblivious Film Actors Guild (F.A.G. for short) in a plot to blow up every major city on the planet. Just as the mindless squad cheerfully demolishes everything in sight, so do director Parker and company. Throwing punches Left, Right, and in-between, the movie's politics leave no turn un-stoned; there's even time to bludgeon the musicalRent. It's offensive, irresponsible comic anarchy seemingly made by sniggering little boys.Painfully funny sniggering little boys.--Steve Wiecking
The Best Movie of 2004!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I laughed non-stop throughout the movie. A combination of sex, action, car chases and shoot outs, the likes you've never seen! Not a kid's movie, but nonwadays, what is? I salute the writers for their story, the producers for having the courage to make this movie and the rest of the crew that helped.
GJG Fresno, California
Way south of Southpark - thankfully I rented this I gave up on this movie halfway through and sent it back. I expected stinging satire of American politics, but what I got was lame&predictable, with adolescent body function jokes and over use of the 'F' word. As Cartman would say, "this is a piece cr*p man'
* see 'Ridicurous' - this movie doesn't 'ridicule everybody', by only attacking Bush's critics and never attacking Bush's policies or American 'Gunboat diplomacy', it becomes a piece of Pro-bush right wing propaganda
(...)Terrorize this! If you're tired of the seemingly endless parade of tired genre films, adaptations, and remakes coming out of Hollywood these days, Team America: World Police may be just what you need to shake you out of your bad movie-induced slumber. Coming from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the twisted minds behind the enduring classic that is South Park, Team America is a bloody, profanity-laced, sexually perverted comic romp of a movie, the kind sure to offend prudes and morality police everywhere. Not to mention, all the filth, violence, and depravity that this movie contains (and there's plenty of it) occurs against the backdrop of the grandiosely titled War on Terror, as we witness the enduring struggle between America and its enemies played out on the world stage. Yes, Trey and Matt have devoted an entire movie to delivering their own skewed take on the battle that has captivated Americans for almost four years now. And they've done it all with a cast consisting entirely of marionettes.
Arrayed on one side is Team America, standing alone to police the world and defend freedom from the fanatical terrorists who seek to bring down civilization. Their skills are unparalleled, and they're aided by a vast array of special "valmorphanizing" weapons and vehicles. Consisting of a former All-American quarterback, an empath, a psychologist, and of course the finest martial artist Detroit has to offer, Team America is an elite group made virtually unstoppable by the guidance of their no-nonsense supervisor Mr. Spotswood and the omniscient supercomputer I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.. They travel the world seeking out their enemies wherever they may hide, and causing lots of nifty explosions in the process. Sure, the French and the Egyptians may not appreciate Team America's efforts too much when they blow up the The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower in the former country and the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid in the latter, but hey, somebody's got to take responsibility for keeping the free world safe.
After a member's death in the movie's opening sequence, Team America is forced to look outside the group for help, and Spotswood manages to find them the perfect weapon: Gary Johnston, a "maverick renegade" of a Hollywood actor with a degree in theater and world languages that will enable him to infiltrate the deepest corners of the terrorist underworld. Gary is such a convincing actor that his made-up tale of suffering at the hands of the American infidels brings tears to the eyes of even the most hardened terrorists. And while he initially doesn't want the guilt, shame, and responsibility that come with his position, by the end he's undergone such a transformation that he's willing to service his boss in the name of freedom.
On the other, darker side of the equation is Kim Jong-Il, the diminutive Korean dictator plotting a terrorist strike that will be equal to 911 times 2,356 (do the math). Parker and Stone really did their homework when it came to portraying Kim (they confess to being fascinated by him in the DVD's special features), and what comes out is sort of a combination of Eric Cartman, Josef Stalin, and a bulk-rate James Bond Villain, with the accent of the Chinese restaurant owner from South Park. Kim cuts a menacing figure, and clearly has no qualms about cold-blooded murder, but as we learn in one of the greatest songs in movie history, he's really just "ronery" (i.e., lonely) and smarting from a lack of respect. In other words, he's the kind of movie villain you love to hate, only a lot funnier than most.
Perhaps even more ominously, though, Kim has enlisted the aid of "secret weapon" Alec Baldwin and his parnters in the Film Actors Guild (in case you can't figure out the acronym, it's prominently mentioned and displayed on numerous occasions). Led by Baldwin, the Guild is composed of the kind of people who truly understand global politics, namely famous movie actors who can read newspapers and then repeat what they've read as though it's their own opinion. World-class whiner and useless troll Michael Moore even makes an appearance as a hot dog-waving, mumbling domestic terrorist. Unfortunately, Kim's devious mind formulates a fiendish plan to use the Guild to further his plans to throw the world into chaos, and only Team America can stop him. But first, Gary&Co. have to overcome the dark secrets, resentments, and hidden and unrequited loves that threaten to tear them apart.
So, what works in Team America? Fortunately, just about everything. South Park long ago revealed Parker and Stone as insightful social critics as well as top-notch filth merchants, and Team America ultimately proves to be a fast-paced and consistently hilarious examination of world politics when it's not brilliantly spoofing the action-movie genre. South Park has seen Parker and Stone generally leaning to the right of center of the American political spectrum, but they've also show a willingness to take the piss out of anyone's deeply held beliefs, and this movie is no exception. Those on the left, those on the right, and those who just plain hate politics should find a lot to laugh at here.
Early on there's plenty of mockery of American ignorance and arrogance: Gary's "transformation" into an Arab terrorist consists of little more than sticking some dark hair plugs on his face; the Panana Canal is described as "2,193 miles south of the real America"; team members gleefully blow up priceless buildings and monuments and expect the natives to be grateful. There are also some transcendently stupid parodies of the trite jingoistic anthems that sprung up in droves after the September 11 attacks ("Freedom Costs a Buck-Oh-Five"; "America, F*** Yeah."). About halfway through, though, the movie shifts gears and launches into a sustained assault on the "elites" of Hollywood and the U.N.. Of course, since Stone was once quoted as saying "I hate conservatives, but I really f***ing hate liberals," this should come as no surprise. In one rather telling moment, famed weapons inspector Hans Blix exemplifies the impotence of international governing bodies when he tells Kim that refusal to disclose North Korea's weapons program will result in an angry letter from the U.N.. And of course, there are countless sendups of the ignorance of Hollywood liberals, with Tim Robbins babbling incoherently about corporations and Matt Damon saying nothing more than his own name.
Now, none of the above would matter if Team America weren't an uproariously funny comedy, but it succeeds wildly on that score as well. The political humor often takes center stage, but there's still more than enough of the explicit banter and graphic imagery that fans of Parker and Stone have come to expect. The sex scene between two marionettes has gained much of the attention that this movie generated, and rightfully so: at about two minutes in length, performed to the tune of an appropriately wretched power ballad and filled with positions that are just plain wrong, it's more than worth getting the uncensored edition for. If you're weak of stomach you may want to take a bathroom break during the extended vomiting scene, though.
An any rate, by the time Team America ends with a brutally funny and surprisingly accurate summation of America's role in the world that's far too explicit for me to repeat in this space, it's clear that we have a comedy classic on our hands. In an age of rampant political correctness and the looming threat of censorship from the sorry likes of the Parents Television Council and similar busybodies, it's good to see someone (or someones) pushing the limits of good taste and creating something intelligent and truly funny in the process. Increasingly sanitized and enstupidated fare may be the norm coming out of Hollywood now, but in such a climate films like this one only stand out even more. Trey and Matt, my hat's off to you once again.