Team America: World Police review by Cinema Guru BoyCan something be mean-spirited and still be okay to think is funny? Can something be low-brow and disgusting and still be okay to think is funny? Is it wrong to feel guilty about thinking a movie about swearing, puking, patriotic marionettes is down-right hilarious? Trey Parker's sense of humor is definitely take-it-or-leave-it, but Team America: World Police keeps the satiracally over-the-top wit, and blends it with the stupid, shameful cheap laughs that work so well, giving Parker his fourth consecutive genuinely hilarious feature film.
Every one knows whether they like Trey Parker's antics. South Park is one of the most clever shows on the air, but can also be one of the silliest, and that's the genious of both his show an this film. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut fueled that balence of important and poingient with stupid and disgusting. It was a more sophisticated example of what Cannibal! The Musical and Orgazmo were, and in turn, Team America builds upon that.
It's so difficult to say why a comedy is good and give solid examples from the film without spoiling punchlines. And besides that, comedy is so very subjective. What one person finds funny, another will find lame or gaudy or mean-spirited or insulting or..... But the point is this film is very clever, if you can appreciate that. They may have taken the villifying of celebrities too far, but their initial point is well made. Many celebrities use their celebrity status to influence politics. This film chastises actors who have very publicly taken a liberal stance, such as Tim Robbins, Susan Sarrandon, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, and especially Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin as the ring leader. However, at the same time, uses this vehicle as an Archie Bunker-type of technique, as to say how ridiculous the villifying of liberal celebrities is. So is this anti-liberal? Or is it Archie Bunkering the war-mongers, saying how ridculous they are, most specifically President Dubya, thus making it anti-conservative? Or is it just funny to watch a puppet vomit?
Is it wrong to misrepresent actual people? Is Alec Baldwin inheirently evil? Probably not. But this is coming from the same film that paints Kim Jong Il as a Bond villian. It's satire, intended satire for the sake of comedy. And anyone who's seen South Park had better not be suprised by it. Does Jared from Subway wish AIDS upon everyone? Are KoRn a happy, enthusiastic group of teenage sleuths? Is Saddam Hussein carrying out a homosexual affair with Satan the Dark Prince? Probably not.
Unless you live under a rock, you've heard of the infamous puppet sex scene. Is it too hardcore, or does the MPAA just hate Parker? It's just PUPPETS! Yes, it would've been hardcore it it had been humans, they had situations that you would only see in porn, but it's puppets, so that makes it funny. How can anyone rationally get upset about puppet sex in an R-rated film? Here's to hoping for the director's cut with added steamier scenes.
Aside from the celebrity bashing, the film is stuffed full of hilarious antics. There are great one-liners, a great love triangle (actually more of a love quadrilateral), and Parker trademarks like homoerotic humor and downright riotous songs. The low budget feel is embraced, just as we've always seen, ever since Cannibal!, right through South Park. Many jokes have evolved directly from this very concept. The movie just strikes the right chord from beginning to end.
So, beware, this may not be the movie for you. But it is typical Trey Parker. If you can appreciate his sense of humor, Team America will be very rewarding.
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