Movie Review
Team America: World Police
Team America poster
By Craig Younkin     Published October 16, 2004
US Release: October 15, 2004

Directed by: Trey Parker
Starring: Trey Parker , Matt Stone

Running Time: 105 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $32,774,834
An outrageously funny film that uses all the Bruckheimerisms, over the top action sequences, elaborate musical scores, and combines them with mean spirited shots at Hollywood liberals.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have commonly been referred to as juvenile. That couldn't be farther from the truth. These guys are geniuses. What I love about them is that they are two extremist comedians who aren't afraid to go as far away from the norm as possible. Take Team America for instance: How many Jerry Bruckheimer style action/comedies about puppets have you seen recently?

Team America is a group of freedom fighters sent to police the world. When one of them dies in the line of duty, their boss, Spottswoode, employs the help of a young Broadway actor named Gary to go under cover as a middle eastern terrorist. What they don't know is that South Korean dictator Kim Jung Ill is selling WMD's all around the world and that he plans on setting them off all at the same time, creating what the film calls 9/11 times a thousand.

Team America is not a Bush bashing film. In fact, Bush isn't even in this movie, or I should say, a puppet of Bush isn't even in this movie. It's a satire of the guns-blazing American spirit we've been witnessed to lately, but also one against Hollywood actors who feel the need to be more important than they actually are. It's an outrageously funny film that uses all the Bruckheimerisms like cheesy romance, over the top action sequences, elaborate musical scores, and over dramatic drama and combines them with mean spirited shots at Hollywood liberals. For example, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, and especially Alec Baldwin make up the Film Actors Guild (or F.A.G.).

And finally no Parker/Stone production would be complete without crude cartoons (can a puppet be called a cartoon? Eh) doing and saying crude things while singing crude musical numbers. Puppet vomiting, puppet mutilation, and puppet sex are just a few of the guilty pleasures of having a film with an all marionette cast. Even though the sex scene was cut from an NC-17 to an R, it's still the funniest laugh-out-loud moment of the year. And the musical numbers are every bit as good as South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. There is a send-up of the Broadway show Rent called Lease where Gary sings "Everyone has Aids, Whites have it and spades do too."

The Team America team also get their own theme song (?America, **** Yeah"), there is a country western freedom song (?Freedom Isn't Free, It Costs a Buck O Five?), Kim Jong II gives his heavy Asian pipes a test in singing "I'm Ronery" and "You Are Worthless Alec Baldwin," and also a love song doing a shout-out to Bruckheimer called "Pearl Harbor Sucked Just a Little More than I Love You." There is so much to love. Even the message, which is brought out through the descriptions of three body parts, is hilarious and observant. Team America is far and away the funniest film of the year, and from guys like Parker and Stone you wouldn't expect anything less.
Craig's Grade: A
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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'Team America' Articles
  • Craig Younkin's Best and Worst of 2004
    January 26, 2005    Of all the films this year, one stood out as being the smartest, riskiest, funniest, and most original. -- Craig Younkin
  • Greg's review B-
    October 21, 2004    Perhaps I was just expecting the comic genius that was the South Park film, and they just did not quite reach it. -- Greg Ward
  • Crowd Report: "Team America"
    October 16, 2004    The crowd situation was in line with the opening night of Jackass ($9.7 million - $3,873 per-screen), and the attendance also ended up being on par with Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle ($14.6 million - $4,224 per-screen). -- Lee Tistaert
  • Friday Box Office Analysis (10/15)
    October 16, 2004    The rather underwhelming figure poses the question of whether or not the sneak previews drove out Trey Parker and Matt Stone?s more hardcore fans. -- Lee Tistaert
  • Crowd Report / B.O. Outlook: "Team America"
    October 11, 2004    After seeing it, I think it might land between Kill Bill Volume 1 ($22.1 million) and Volume 2 ($25.1 million), with even an outside shot at Dodgeball ($30.1 million). -- Lee Tistaert