Friday, January 22, 2010

tm Does the QT 20 Part 8: Team America - World Police

Team America: World Police (dir. Trey Parker – 2004)

Sometimes having low standards leads to surprises. This movie seemed like a throw-in – maybe the South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone have some dirt on QT? And while South Park certainly has more creative and original moments than you’d think from a show that seems to cost about $2.84 to put together, thinking that a movie starring American-flag waving puppets would only be just tolerable was on my mind.

But, yeah, this movie is actually pretty funny. Funny in a satirical “America kicks ass/everybody with dark skin is a terrorist” kinda way. Parker and Stone first wanted to re-shoot Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Armageddon” scene-by-scene but with puppets; due to legal reasons, they couldn’t do that and so they did a puppet-acted Bruckheimer musical - over the top action, semi-coherent plot, two-dimensional characters, but lots of stuff gets blown up real good and you’ve got them breaking into song. As with any Bruckheimer movie, the plot is minimal – Team America tries to save the world from Kim Jong-il, who has armed terrorists around the world with weapons of mass destruction. The team loses a member, recruits a civilian, has a talking computer and a super groovy hang out, confidence is lost and earned, etc. Along the way, Hollywood is spoofed as full of pinkos who get duped by Kim faking he’s all about world peace.

The music is almost all written and sung by Trey Parker and it’s surprisingly good; Kim Jong-Il’s solo tune “I’m Ronery” song has got to be one the funniest musical moments ever.

Gen X has the ‘unrated and uncut’ dvd; not seeing it in the theatre, I don’t know what scenes are added but it’s probably mostly in the big, gratuitous, and overly long sex scene (between puppets, complete with “showers”. Yuck.). There is just the right amount of extras of behind the scenes footage, explaining the puppet process, etc.

But, yeah, it’s still a puppet movie so tm sez: 6/10

No comments: