Movie Review
Team America: World Police
Team America poster
By Greg Ward     Published October 21, 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
Perhaps I was just expecting the comic genius that was the South Park film, and they just did not quite reach it.
After a long, stressful week of college courses, a film like ?Team America: World Police? is just what I needed. I went in expecting an entertaining film with just enough humor to put a big smile on my face, and I got that. However, having come from the creators of ?South Park? (one of the funniest shows on television, in my opinion), I expected a lot better in terms of comedy.

The death of a teammate that resulted from a terrorist attack in Paris leaves Team America, a group who fights to save the U.S., in a bind. The fact that there are more attacks to come does not help them as well. They recruit Gary, a rising Broadway star who has a way of touching people with his acting, to go undercover to save the world from Kim Jong Il. ?Thunderbirds?-esque action and puppet sex ensues.

When the ?South Park? movie came out, I was ecstatic, having been a huge fan of the show, and I nearly rolled down the aisles with laughter when I saw it; it is the kind of movie that I can watch repeatedly. I am afraid that it is not the same when it comes to ?Team America: World Police.? Many of the laughs seem forced; take for example the puppet sex scene: at first, it was really funny, something that I have never seen before. Once it kept going, it became tiresome; they let it go too long, and it lost its creative aspect.

The use of puppets in place of real actors is a brilliant idea. When I first saw the trailer, the fact that puppets were used to portray world protectors and terrorists made me want to see this film even more. And the majority of the reason why I laughed throughout this film was because they were puppets. It is hard to take anything the characters say seriously because of their appearance.

As for the musical numbers, I was disappointed. With the ?South Park? film, the musical numbers added an extra oomph to an already brilliant script. Here, the songs seem unnecessary and are not nearly as funny. Take for example ?Everyone has Aids,? a song sung by Gary in a parody of the hit Broadway musical, ?Rent.? The lyrics are a letdown and the tune is not as catchy as ?Uncle F*****? from the ?South Park? film. Other songs with topics like Pearl Harbor and America itself are played for laughs and got a few from my side, but they are not as memorable as I hoped.

With ?Team America: World Police,? Trey Parker and Matt Stone had a lot going for them. They had a creative idea that, for the most part, was executed at a decent level. Perhaps I was just expecting the comic genius that was the ?South Park? film, and they just did not quite reach it. I will not deny the fact that I laughed ? in fact, I laughed a lot, and walked out of the theater with a smile. However, I can?t see myself being able to watch it over and over again in the near future when it comes out on DVD.
Greg's Grade: B-
Greg's Overall Grading: 25 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
  • Craig's review A
    October 16, 2004    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. -- Craig Younkin
  • 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