Team America: World Police
Bringing this month to an end is the final film in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's collection, released way back in 2004. Trey and Matt have since carried on with 'South Park' and Trey's musical, 'The Book of Mormon'. But that's pretty much where they are nowadays, and God only knows if after 15 years Trey will return to the director's chair for another film. I, for one, love just about anything these guys do, so I hope so.
Our adventure begins when Team America take down a terrorist threat in Paris, France, inadvertently causing a ton of damage by their own hands. This tells us what we need to know right away, in that much like with 'South Park', they're making a farce of over the top American patriotism. Anyway, the mission goes south when one of the members, Carson (Parker), is shot dead.
In order to find a replacement, Spotswoode (Daran Norris), head of the team, heads to Broadway to pick up Gary Johnston (also Parker) - a "top gun actor" with majors in theater and world languages. The team needs him to act for them in order to eliminate a terrorist threat. However, things get twisted when we find out how deep things go when Kim Jong Il (also also Parker) gets involved.
The story also follows the love interest between Gary and the team's psychologist, Lisa (Kristen Miller), and the complications of having a love interest on a team. But let's face it, the biggest chunk of this story is about terrorism, when back in 2004, people were still pretty fresh off 9/11. In a way, I see this as a love letter from Trey Parker for a few things.
First and foremost, it's much like films and especially cartoons of the past, during wartime. It's shining a comedic light on an otherwise dire situation during a bad time in history. It's also a throwback to shows like 'The Thunderbirds', which also used marionette puppetry. Finally, it's kinda Trey's way of sticking it to a lot of the more famous celebrities, and causing plenty of Hollywood controversy. Some of these celebrity puppets include the likes of Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Helen Hunt, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and of course, Matt Damon. There's more to that list, but it's pretty big.
Of course, the political controversy of it all got pretty out of hand at the time of its release. It was almost as if Trey and Matt had created the ultimate movie to piss everyone off. Meanwhile, fans like me who kinda get what they're going for, are just laughing it up the whole time due to just how over the top and silly the whole thing is. A movie about puppets managed to piss off a whole collective of people in some way shape or form.
Although they seem done with making movies, I have to say that since they've been able to focus so much more on things like 'South Park', the quality has increased. That's just my humble opinion, but they're now the second longest running animated series of all time. We all know full well who has the #1 spot for that, I think. On top of that, 'Book of Mormon' has been doing gangbusters. So maybe returning to film and putting themselves out there THAT much isn't on their agenda. I hope to see more one day, but if not, 'Team America' would be an interesting movie to leave on.
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