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Team America: World Police

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Team America: World Police

Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Director: Trey Parker
Rated: R
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: October 2004
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Elle Russ, Stanley G. Sawicki

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Years ago, Jonathan Swift wrote: "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own." Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the raunchy, irreverent creators of "South Park,"are fiendish, scatological satirists. Discarding subtlety, they skewer indiscriminately, and the absurdly episodic result is - at times - scathing and hilarious.

Team America is an elite squadron of James Bonds and Charlie's Angels who are gung-ho about maintaining global stability, even if that means sacrificing national monuments like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Egyptian pyramids. When they learn that a power-hungry dictator - North Korea's Kim Jong Il - is selling weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, they embark on a perilous mission to save the world, recruiting a Broadway actor, to help them go undercover.

Using two-foot-tall wooden marionettes and catchy songs, Parker and Stone mock an aggressive, imperialistic American foreign policy that resembles a formulaic, blow-'em-up Jerry Bruckheimer action-adventure with "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker Michael Moore as a suicide bomber. But beneath that cliché-ridden political jab, there's serious criticism of American mass culture, including politically active, pacifist actors (Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, etc.), and its effect on our electoral process, particularly our open disdain for other cultures. As for the ludicrous R-rated, ribald sex controversy, these are passionate, potty-mouth puppets and that degenerate scene, uncut, will inevitably wind up on the DVD. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Team America: World Police" is a controversial, cleverly caustic 8. They're equal opportunity offenders as they outrageously blast away at America's sacred cows.

Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger

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