PSIPOOK | reviews | team america: world police



Team America: World Police
Satire/US/English (Japanese subtitles)/98mins
Voices: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Kristen Miller
Director: Trey Parker
Paramount Pictures

Team America, Thunderbird-like protectors of the free world discover that a gang of international terrorists is hiding in Paris. They come for them, unleashing a ludicrous amount of firepower, and every action movie cliché they can think of. In the process they topple the Eiffel Tower, destroy the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and pretty well everything else you would recognise in that city but mostly miss their targets. You don’t have to be an expert in world affairs to see where the film’s makers are coming from and where they are going to.

While indifferent to the destruction they have caused, the boss, Spotteswood (voiced by Daran Norris) is bothered that one of his own team has been killed. He finds his replacement, a fellow called Gary Johnston, singing about AIDS in a Broadway show — a well-known special forces recruiting ground.

We learn that initiation into Team America involves performing oral sex on Spotteswood.

Another gang of notorious terrorists are meeting in a bar in Cairo, so Gary is crudely disguised in a manner guaranteed to cause racial offence and is escorted by a team of heavily armed commandoes to the bar, where he will blend in with the locals and get the scoop — again, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to see what this is about.

After demolishing a few of Egypt’s better-known archaeological treasures, Team America finds out that the real baddy in North Korea’s Kim Jong Il …

As the battle with the Korean dictator gets under way another gang of characters show up: the Film Actors Guild or FAG — Matt Damon, Sean Penn, and a bunch of other vocally liberal celebs, (incidentally, none of these people gave permission for their names to be used).
We can understand the lampooning of the warmongers on both sides, but now the liberals Michael Moore included — are in for the same treatment, as they are seen protecting Kim.

At this point the film loses focus: everyone is being mocked in equal measure. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this, but with these issues it simply doesn’t work because the film seems to be saying "Who cares?"

Review by Chris Page

August 2005

Close this window to return to the reviews page

e-mail Psilocybe P. Pook: