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Team America: World Police

Putting The "F" Back In Freedom 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Trey Parker 
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Kristen Miller.  
An image from Team America: World Police

When world peace is jeopardized by international terrorists trying to take over the world, there is only one team who can stop them: Team America! With the help of their newly recruited member, Broadway singer Gary, and the ‘most intelligent computer in the world’, the team of six puppets set out to capture the villain Kim Jong Il. Devoted to fighting terrorists, much to the expense of ancient monuments and innocent passers-by, all 'in the name of freedom', they cruise the world in hi-tech vehicles and as expected, they cause chaos wherever they go.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park) are the minds behind Team America: World Police. The highly satiric film is, of course, about America and the world after the 9/11 events. Parker and Stone are careful not to take sides though, but instead shed a cynical, sarcastic and often very funny view on the events of late 2001. They show mercy to no one; be it the right wing republicans, or the ill-informed left-wing liberal Hollywood actors.

The use of puppets allows Parker and Stone to get away with almost anything, making the foul-mouthed, string-controlled puppets all the more hilarious. The movie does not direct the attack on the Bush administration, but towards the attitude of so many Americans; those who insist their Western values and form of government give them the moral high ground, and the right to automatically assume the role of world leader and guardian of freedom.

The political connotations are more than obvious, but they are not to be taken seriously because the movie targets just about everyone; no matter what your political stance or views on world events are, it is obvious that pointing the finger at just one government or one group of political thinkers should not be the easy way out. Parker and Stone do what they do best: crude humour, mockery and sarcasm. Team America is packed with Bruckheimer-style action scenes and South Park humour, as well as several superb, hilarious songs, delivering the laughs along the way.

Nika Lukovic

From the makers of South Park and BASEketball comes this hilarious satirical comedy, starring a band of puppets out to save the planet. It seems ironic how this film more affectionately does justice to Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, than last year’s hugely disappointing and deluded live-action adaptation, as it utilises Anderson’s Supermarionation techniques with wit and dexterity.

A complete disregard for who they offend leads the directors over controversial ground at times, but the majority is done with tongue-in-cheek humour and cheeky references. The main target is the Bruckheimer-Simpson style of big action blockbuster, by using strikingly amusing songs and blatant innuendos to amplify the flaws in these movies, which I rather enjoyed despite being a fan of the genre. And no modern-day satire would be complete without digs at the Bush administration, which are present by the bucket-load and typified by the awesome theme tune (America, F**k Yeah!).

Working out of a base hidden in Mount Rushmore, Team America fly off to troubled areas, while dealing with their own soap operatic tangle about who “has feelings” for who - resulting in the hilarious puppet sex scene that caused a US ratings fuss. After a while, the film leaves off bashing the hawks to go on a tear about Hollywood liberals - with “socialist weasel” Michael Moore depicted as a gross suicide bomber.

All in all this is fun stuff from Parker & Stone, who prove they can still cut it at the lowest-brow end of the comedy spectrum

Mark Gibson

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Autumn Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Autumn Term (35mm)