Movie Review by Jonathan Harvey
Starring (voices of): Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Elle Russ, Dian Bachar, Phil Hendrie
Directors: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Five years after their last foray on the big screen (with SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT), Trey Parker and Matt Stone are back with TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE. They may have swapped animation for puppets, but their trademark mix of razor-sharp satire, boundary-pushing jokes and hilarious songs is as strong as ever.
The plot sees a Thunderbirds-esque organisation dedicated to fighting terrorists wherever they rear their heads, even if it means destroying huge swathes of cities like Paris and Cairo in the process. But when North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il threatens to wreak havoc on the world by launching a ‘9/11 x 2,356’, Team America must recruit Broadway star Gary Johnston and use his acting skills to help thwart the deadly plan.
As should be expected, when Parker and Stone choose a target for the cutting comedy they give it the full treatment, but while US-led War on Terror gets its fair share of mockery, this film is no one-trick pony, nor is it a comic equivalent of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 – in fact Michael Moore is depicted here as a hot-dog chomping suicide bomber. Even more so it is an attack on American foreign policy (interestingly George Bush is never mentioned), the film’s main targets are liberal actors, and particularly the glossy action movies typified by the films of uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer with a touching love ballad bemoaning how PEARL HARBOR sucked.
It’s a joy to see a film as savagely funny as this not taking sides but instead seeing everything as fair game. Climaxing in an ingenious philosophical statement which boils down global politics to being about dicks, pussies and assholes, this is Parker and Stone at their unrelenting best, and as long as you’re not easily offended, TEAM AMERICA will be a pure treat.