I give it 2,146,316 stars

The football season is always a welcome arrival because I love watching the Redskins, but on the one fall weekend during the season when the Redskins have their bye week, I like to enjoy getting out of the house on that Sunday. This year, that free Sunday was this past weekend.

Normally, I’d waste the day at the mall or a bookstore, just seeing what life was like outside of my cave. Not this time. On Sunday I slept until 1:00, which is the normal starting time for the Redskins. Once I was dressed to make my quarterly appearance into the world, Danielle and I decided to experience the fine comedy stylings of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in the form of Team America: World Police.

Special note… I include some high-level movie spoilers in this review. Do not read forward until after you’ve seen the movie if you don’t wish to know anything about the movie. I will not give away any jokes, though. That’s my warning.

Going into the theater, I expected to laugh because South Park is hilarious, so anything from Trey Parker and Matt Stone will inevitably possess the same comedic bent. Think comedy as societal skewering. I enjoy that and, having read a few reviews, I was prepared for comedy and political commentary. I was not prepared for such crude, violent, sexual puppets and jokes so offensive and wrong that they’re so right. Bottom line: I haven’t laughed so hard and so often at a movie in years.

From the opening scene in Puppet Paris to the closing scene in THIS SPOILER BLOCKED, Team America: World Police carries its mission forward with focused reckless abandon. It mocks the brainless brawn of “shoot first, maybe ask questions later, if there are any survivors” with the multi-talented Team America police officers and its flawless I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. It chastises the vapid condescension of “never shoot, because capital ‘L’ Love is all we need” with the assembled mass of actors, who are only representative of liberal dumbass idealists who comprehend complexity as poorly as anyone. No politician or candidate is mentioned by name or inference, and that is a valid omission. The theme of Team America: World Police is larger than the immediate presidential election.

Like everything Trey Parker and Matt Stone do, there is song. I won’t mention the song titles here because that would give away too much, but I will say how thrilled I was at the brilliance and timing of every song. As the story moved into one song, Danielle made me laugh out loud as she predicted “And now, he sings.” You’ll have to see the movie to know the moment and the song. As for my favorite musical moment (and political statement), I’ll just say that I think Toby Keith and Aaron Tippin will be pissed if they ever understand the joke.

Despite what some reviews and news stories are implying, this isn’t a politically biased film. Team America: World Police isn’t Fahrenheit 9/11 with puppets. This is political commentary with a brain, not a party affiliation. It uses a coherent story to explain its point. As political commentary, Team America: World Police succeeds because it skewers the inflexible Culture of Fear sold by the Right and the blind Culture of Kumbaya sold by the Left with equal viciousness and insight. Team America: World Police promotes sanity above political ideology. There are serious issues facing the world today; we can’t hide from them, but we also mustn’t make pretend that America is perfect and that our ideas and ideals are all that is valid. The world is infinite shades of grey, while our current political agendas see only black and white. Ultimately, intelligence matters. That is the essence of Team America: World Police. Throw in a few fornicating puppets and the result is genius.

3 thoughts on “I give it 2,146,316 stars”

  1. You know Tony, Country music and the ones who sing said music would laugh all the way to the bank. Specially when “city boys” like yourself ridicule them. I was raised with a love of all music, BUT my late hubby was a full fledged card carryin Red neck. And you know what it would probably piss him off to see puppets fornicate. LOL

  2. I love Country music. I just can’t stand the patriotic redneck bent that it’s taken with regard to politics. Toby Keith singing about putting “a boot in their ass” is not the way I wish for America to be represented. Ultimately, it’s my belief that America’s response to terrorism and the threats facing us should be to crush them with a cold, methodical precision, not with a hot-blooded vengeance. Seeking revenge gets us locked in a never-ending spiral of violence and hatred. The goal is to crush our enemies, not to make more. I don’t think that tiny wing of country music understands that.

  3. I, like my dear friend Danielle, predicted the big ballad about 2.5 seconds before it started. We are similarly talented there.
    I thought the movie had merit, but I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much because the subject is so grave and all too real. I disagree about the even treatment of the left and right. Whereas the unnamed politicians are completely guilty of the outrageously violent and thoughtless actions depicted in the film, the “liberal Hollywood elite” are unlikely to take up arms to defend their position in reality. They were named, implicated as violent traitors, and in the end came off as much more extreme than Team America (Fuck yeah!). I get parody, but if the creators really wanted some bite, why not portray Bush and Cheney instead of going with safer targets such as Sadam Hussein (in South Park), Hollywood celebrities, and now KIM Chong-il. What’s scary about the choice to feature KIM Chong-il is that Saddam Hussein was the featured evil world leader in their film five years ago. Their choices may represent accurate predictions of most likely candidates for future U.S. conflicts.
    Pity that the war machine took so much of the country music world with them. The war drums started beating on the country stations almost immediately after 9/11, which has all but completely turned me off to country music since then.
    Final word from me. Intelligence does matter. But we need a leader who will not special order bogus intelligence and then use it to justify unncessary violence.
    Best –

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