FBMR - Team America: World Police
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


Earlier this year we had a live-action film based on the campy 60s puppet/marionette TV show, THUNDERBIRDS. It tanked rather miserably. Now, to my surprise, the cheesy, campy puppet/marionette technology is making TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE a blockbuster. This begs the question, “Would THUNDERBIRDS the movie have done better had it used puppets/marionettes?” The answer, most likely, is no, because whereas The THUNDERBIRDS is labelled a family action-drama, there is nothing serious or for “families” about TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE. It uses the puppet/marionette technology (if you can call it that) to its advantage by never once taking itself seriously. The entire film is incredibly ridiculous. Trey Parker and Matt Stone knew this very well.

Not only does this film mock the use of puppets/marionettes (scenes that end on a quasi-serious note are immediately ridiculed when you see the characters struggling to walk away), but it also manages to offend everyone on the planet. No one is safe. There are not many movies can boast that achievement. Yet because it’s only puppets/marionettes, those insulted probably don’t seem to mind as much because it just seems so silly.

The mere title is a satirically charged poke at America’s foreign policy. The team’s motto: We Protect, We Serve, We Care is often juxtaposed against their mass destruction of world monuments, market places, public and private property in the war against terrorism. They then leave the citizens of the world gaping in astonishment at the rubble that was their country, oh ... and they may have managed to kill a few terrorists in the process.

The film also takes shots at Hollywood and actors who so often speak out against war and violence. Now, I’m not for war, either, but I couldn’t help laughing at the over-the-top send-ups of Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Michael Moore. Star Wars is made fun of, PEARL HARBOUR is mocked, there’s an outrageous sex scene. It’s got blood, guts, puke, more foul language than you can shake a stick at, and a description of the types of people there are in the world that blew my mind (and I think it may actually make sense, in a very twisted way).

I laughed out loud, I chuckled, I grinned, and I winced. Outrageous, ridiculous, extremely offensive ... I liked it a lot!