Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the TV show South Park and the film of same name, have never been known as G-rated filmmakers. What some people do not realize however, is they are also known to be quite topical. South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut worked on more levels than just bathroom humor. In fact, it took more effective jabs at the status quo than almost any movie in recent memory. With Team America: World Police, they have taken their game to a whole new level.
Today’s highly polarized political climate makes the time exactly right for a movie like this, and Parker and Stone do not disappoint. Broadly speaking, the movie simultaneously pokes fun at the war on terror, as well as big budget excess in Hollywood films, all while never compromising the filmmakers’ trademark sick sense of humor.
The movie is about a horribly inept anti-terrorism unit named Team America, whose hideout is inside Mount Rushmore, that destroys every major landmark wherever they go. Then, along with their mentor Spottswoode, they enjoy a post mission cocktail. Following the loss of one of their members, they recruit a Broadway actor, Gary Johnston, to lead them in what promises to be their toughest mission to date.
That is the jumping off point for the world’s first all-marionette satirical action musical. The most interesting quality about the movie’s humor is how bipartisan it turns out to be. The absurdity of fighting some unknown army of terrorist enemies is skewered as much as Michael Moore, or other preachy, left-leaning celebrities. Sean Penn and Danny Glover, among others, all end up dying in an absurdly gory manner. Kim Jong Il is also a target, and as it is a good bet he will be making more headlines after the Iraqi war wraps up, this film could turn out to be eerily prescient.
Like South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, this movie is a musical, and the songs could possibly be the funniest part. Their humor lies in surprise, so it would be unfair to spoil them. Suffice to say, however, there is a hilarious Rent parody, a lampooning of a certain big-budget action film and a whole lot of foul language sprinkled liberally throughout.
For those who still aren’t convinced this is the raunchiest film to come down the pike in quite some time, there is still the infamous puppet sex scene. Originally garnering the film an NC-17 rating, the scene is certainly graphic and if done by real humans, would have veered far into pornographic territory. There is also a vomiting scene that turns quite horrific. If you’re not turned off by now, this movie is probably for you. If you’re utterly repulsed, you should stay far away from Team America.
Obviously this movie isn’t for everyone, and the R rating should be strictly enforced. For those ready to check their political correctness at the door, Team America is the comedy to see. If nothing else, after leaving the theatre, you’ll never look at a puppet quite the same way again.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.