Team America World Police: Uncensored and Unrated on DVD
Review by Lando da Pimp
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are brilliant when it comes to satire. South Park has now moved away from being a show about rude and crude kids to a venue for the creators to address real world issues. Their typically neutral stance points out the stupidity of the world and situations.
Team America is Matt and Trey's take on the political issue of terrorism. The premise of the film is amazingly funny and I was a bit upset that I didn't get a chance to see Team America in the theaters when it was released. After watching the movie on DVD I am glad I didn't waste my money.
Team America World Police, as you may know, is performed by marionettes similar to the early 60's TV show of Thunderbirds. The entire movie is a Jerry Bruckheimer film performed with puppets. (After all, aren't all Bruckheimer films comedy?)
The movie begins with Team America attempting to recruit a Broadway actor named Gary who is performing in a production called "Lease," a parody of "Rent" where everybody has AIDS. According to my wife this is not much different form the real play.
Gary is needed for his acting skills to infiltrate the terrorist group and expose the Weapons of Mass Destruction. The team proceeds to celebrate by drinking and having marionette sex, unaware of Kim Jong Il's plan to destroy the world. Jong plans on using the Hollywood liberals (known as F.A.G. Film Actors Guild) to help. When Michael Moore blows up the Team America base the Team are captured and held in North Korea.
Gary is the only member not captured and decides he must rescue his team. A full-out gun battle ensues with Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, and other liberal-minded actors who are duped by Jong that he is holding a World Peace Conference.
I was not a fan of the film, but thoroughly enjoyed the special features contained on the disc. They are highly entertaining and extremely funny:
Team America: An Introduction
This is a five-minute recap of the film's story with Parker and Stone's thoughts on the film. The approach of the movie was a 'Jerry Bruckheimer film made with puppets' because of their distaste of actors.
Building the World
A nice feature focusing on the creation of the large massive sets utilized in the film. The craft members also show us how small the props really were. It's pretty impressive how much work was put into creating this film.
Crafting the Puppets and Pulling the Strings
These two features focus on the creation of the marionettes and the process of animating them. Also featured are how to make a marionette act as well as how to create a marionette sex scene.
Up Close with Kim Jong Il
Because of the lack of knowledge of North Korea we learn how the crew created the country as well as the dictator Kim Jong Il.
There are only a few deleted scenes on the disc, including Gary and Steve's heart-to-heart talk, Spotswood's thoughts on racism, and Gary battling with the guards in Kim Jong Il's palace that has a striking resemblance to Star Wars and the Matrix.
Also included are outtakes, animated storyboards and the two movie trailers.
The movie Team America was a huge disappointment for me. I didn't enjoy it like I hoped I would. I laughed at the musical numbers and who doesn't find doll porn funny? However the film just doesn't work. The movie idea is brilliant but the payoff is weak and sometimes overly obscene.
If you enjoyed this film in theaters, you will love the DVD. The special features are great and more entertaining than the movie. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was one of the most brilliant satire movies of the late 20th century. It's a shame that Trey Parker and Matt Stone can't recreate this success without the South Park kids.
You can pick up the Team America DVD from Amazon.com