HiT Rewind: ‘Team America: World Police’ (2004)

“Team America: World Police” still stands as the only comedy to mock jingoistic country crooners AND self-important actors. And Trey Parker and Matt Stone do it all via marionettes, a form of puppetry which makes the Muppets look like a CGI effect.

Parker and Stone clearly know their movies. “Team America” mocks with love, even if the boys can’t resist injecting their story with potty-mouth metaphors.

Team America: World Police - Trailer

“Team” follows a squad of U.S.-based fighters who recruit an actor to infiltrate an active terrorist network. The villains’ plans are even bigger than our heroes think – the world’s most notorious dictator is pulling the strings. The marionette representing North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il is priceless, even if his voice falls back on a silly Asian accent.

Naturally, Team America destroys everything in its path to smite the enemy, leaving the Louvre in shambles without so much as a shrug.

“Team” delivers some impressive sets, like a sweet Mount Rushmore which doubles as Team America’s headquarters. No technology can make marionettes walk or talk in convincing fashion, and that’s half the fun. Watching them prance across the screen, or even engage in some R-rated lovemaking, is a visual gag that never tires.

The musical sequences prove less successful, but any film which dedicates an entire song to sucker punching Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor” deserves its rightful place in movie history.

Bay get off easy compared to his Hollywood peers.

“Team America” gleefully taunts actors like Sean Penn and Tim Robbins who insist on injecting themselves into the political debate. The jokes here are scattershot at best, but the novelty – and ferocity – of the attack makes it noteworthy. Clearly, Stone and Parker aren’t interested in attending many Hollywood cocktail parties – at least not without a bodyguard in tow.

“Team America: World Police” can’t sustain its inspired level of humor, falling back on gross-out gags in the final reel. But until then the film’s satiric swipes are as breathtaking funny as they are bold.

DID YOU KNOW: The film’s creators insist their silly film features a message reflecting their view of America. ” … the only thing that we assert is that there’s a difference between dicks and a**holes,” Trey Parker told The Guardian, the dicks referring to America and the [expletives] representing terrorists. “Because there are a**holes – terrorists – you gotta have dicks – people who hunt down terrorists.”

One Comment

  1. One of my favorite “highly inappropriate” films. So many cringeworthy and simultaneously hilarious scenes and the “unrated” edition is, well, bizarre. I mean, really, they’re puppets. But still worth watching every few years!

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