Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with an unbelievable stack of words praising the genius of Matt Stone and Trey Parker once again. I must admit that I read no more than the first couple of lines of each as TEAM AMERICA is one of my most anticipated flicks of the year (as I coded the below reviews I have the CANNNIBAL: THE MUSICAL and SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT soundtracks playing, with a special appearance by "Now You're A Man" from ORGAZMO... so, yeah... I'm a fan) and I refuse to spoil it. There were no sneaks in New Zealand, so I'm going to have to catch it opening weekend when I get back! Anyway, I'm gonna string a shitload of reviews down below. Many of them contain spoilers, I'm sure, so beware! Also, keep your eye on the site. That lazy and lucky bastard, Moriarty, got to sit down with Trey and Matt and has what is promised to be the best interview since Moses talked to God. hehe. Now on with it!
First-time writer, longtime fan. I just got back from seeing a sneak peek of Team America: World Police at the Charlottetown cinema.
In short, it's an awesome experience, one the most distinct films you're ever likely to see. It may be the funniest movie of the year, and certainly one of the most satirical.
Parker and Stone don't stray that far from their usual motifs (thankfully); this would probably work as an episode of South Park, puppets notwithstanding. I could even see it as a live action movie, although the entertainment factor wouldn't be as great. The puppets, which could have been (and to an extent, are) a gimmick, don't get old, and add to the movie greatly.
The plot is basic: Team America, the world's police, are trying to stop terrorists (all of whom fall under into one generic group, with mutual aims) from using WMDS to destroy the world. Kim Jong-Il is the one supplying the WMDS. They recruit Gary Johnston, a Broadway actor (currently starring in the musical "Lease" (parodying both "Grease" and "Rent") with the catchy title song of "Everyone has AIDS"). Gary has to act like a terrorist, to lead them to the source. Trouble is, Gary is haunted by the memories of the death of his brother (at the hands of gorillas) as a result of his acting.
The rest of the team are all also hilarious stereotypes:
- Lisa, the blonde psychiatrist, who is attracted to Gary, but burdened by the loss of fellow TA member Carson, who proposed to her moments before he was gunned down.
- Sarah, an "empath" who says things like "I sense you are confused"; as a Star Trek: TNG fan, I recognized the inspiration for the character easily.
- Joe, the All American, Scott Summers-type from Nebraska, who is in love with Sarah (who is in love with Gary, like Lisa).
- Chris, who provides the single-largest amount of the film's profanity, is a martial arts expert, and loathes actors because of an incident in his past.
- Spotswood, the old, cigarette-smoking boss, who would probably be played by Brian Dennehy or Brian Cox in a live action film.
TA:WP is chock full of references to other films. There are the usual suspects, like Star Wars and The Matrix, but also Kill Bill: Vol. 1, the "Conspiracy" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and several references to South Park.
Two of the most notable South Park references relate to Kim Jong-Il; first off, as you can tell from the trailers, he speaks exactly like the City Wok guy. He also uses Cartman's "you're breakin' my balls" line from the episode where Kenny died for real (temporarily).
Also like in South Park, there are "real" scenes hilariously interspersed with the scenes with the puppets; not to mention several awesome musical numbers.
The "theme" of the film is "America! Fuck Yeah!", which is played several times, in different tones; at one point, it's sung mournfully, after the archtypical scene where the Team falls out with each other.
Politically, the film savages both the Right and the Left (politically-active actors are hit especially hard). Whenever Team America goes on a mission to stop the bad guys, the demolish whole cities and blow up major landmarks, while cheerily and obliviously telling the locals that freedom has triumphed and they are safe (the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumphe, the Pyramids, and the Sphinx are all blow up by Team America, provoking no reaction beyond "We missed"). On the other hand, people like Alec Baldwin and Michael Moore play right into Kim Jong-Il's hands, nearly allowing him to destroy the world. This whole philosophy is summed up by Gary in a speech that divides the world in Dicks, Pussies, and Assholes.
Ratings-wise, the MPAA was being its usual self with regard to the NC-17 rating. The amount of swearing in this movie obviously warrants an R, but the whole hubbub regarding the puppet sex scene is ludicrous (as the MPAA is wont to be); first off, the puppets have no genitilia, and second, they're PUPPETS.
There are many small details that amuse, such as during the scene where all world leaders assemble, and the Ugandan leader looks exactly like Idi Amin. And whenever a caption appears to identify what part of the world we're in (Cairo, North Korea, Panama) it comes complete with a readout showing exactly how far it is to America (my favourite was the Panama one, which said that Panama Canal, Central America, was X miles from Real America).
All in all, a great film, and one that should be seen by every person who can get into an R-rated movie, through legal or extralegal means.
I'm CaptainCanuck, and I rate it a 10 out of 10.
Quick reaction here to a screening I attended of "Team America: World Police" earlier today in NYC.
Anyone who's been waiting to laugh their ass off like they did at "South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut" has something big to look forward to -- except maybe for Sean Penn, who's already pissed off at his portrayal here and is behaving like the crybaby F.A.G. that he is. This movie is absolute giddy, hysterical fun from beginning to end.
It's amazing how well it skewers each and every one of its targets and manages to weave so many briliant ideas and concepts into a cohesive storyline. No one is left unscathed, particularly liberal Hollywood. I can't wait to hear what the Alec Baldwins, Susan Sarandons, Tim Robbins and others have to say about their portrayals here. And who could guess that a movie starring marionettes could be perhaps the the most sexually explicit non-NC-17, non-X-rated film ever released by a Hollywood studio?
There are a few more lulls than I remember there being in "South Park" and the finale bore a certain resemblance to that movie, but overall this is Parker and Stone at the top of their game. If the rumored cut scenes are restored to the DVD, there's even more great stuff to look forward to. Can't wait to see the mainstream media's reviews on this one.
Hey Harry, or Moriarty, or anyone at the AICN,
NivekJ1 here. Long time talkbacker, intermittent submitter. Don't got long, Venture Bros. about to come on (that show rules!). Anyway, Team America: World Police was amazing. Parker and Stone do a great job of lampooning not only the action genre but also the political climate in general. This was a real crowdpleaser at the AMC in Tallahassee, and this would have been a great summer flick.
The puppets were great looking, ridiculously moving (in more ways than one), and the songs were the best part of the movie, I shall give away nothing. Every comedy has a few dry spots, and so does Team America, but the highs are definitely worth it. This movie is to October 04 as to what School of Rock was to October 03: kick-ass. See this movie. I dare anyone not to laugh once during this movie.
Make that thrice.
Yeah I know your getting a lot of them but here's my two cents.
OK caught my local sneak preview in the land of Capone. Honestly next to Anchorman and Dodgeball this is the funniest movie of the year.
The major thing to say is don't worry about the marrionettes. They become a after-thought after the first 30 minutes. However they are constantly the punchline in many jokes throughout the movie. I truly don't want to ruin anything but the first love seen is the only reason you need to see this movie.
The music is epic. Almost irreverent in it's beauty and structure. And for those south park fans be happy that a new extended cut of the montage song made the cut!
One last thing before I go, Team America's dick n pussy philosophy will rule my life forever.
No need to cover me up call me Andy.
The theatre at the Century Stadium 12 was packed with mostly teens and 20-somethings for the sneak preview. At 45 I was one of the oldest guys there, but I was next to the youngest view...I'd say about seven years old. I don't know what she was there, but she seemed to enjoy it.
Of course, it's the wild all-puppet spoof of action movies, with an all-American group saving the world...if you look past the part that they leave a lot of damage behind.
The puppet sex.....even creepier than the real thing. Matt and Trey didn't hold back here. I can see why it took so long to earn an R rating...the MPAA wasn't sure if puppet sex is as bad as the real thing, anatomy-wise.
The plot....well, that's not important, but it does show the Team's struggles, and how it affects their ability to save the world. Who would have thought an argument on who's dating who would help their ability to shoot down enemy planes? Kim Jung-Il is totally evil, and yet you feel for him when he sings how lonely he is. Almost reminds me of Cartman.
I don't know if any of the actors who were skewered by the movie have had a chance to see it yet, but according to the Drudge Report, Sean Penn must have, and sent Matt and Trey a "drop dead you jerks" letter to them. Despite that, Alec Baldwin was especially skewered as a dupe to terrorists. Nothing funnier, though, than seeing Helen Hunt trying to beat TA member Sarah in a sword fight...except the downward spiral of newbie member Gary when something goes wrong.
But this movie borrows a bit from South Park. Just compare this film's climactic scenes to the ones in the South Park movie. The "montage song" from the South Park ep on Aspen gets new life in the movie.
Three stars here, although I wish Trey and Matt pounced on a few right-wing dupes--Rush and Bill O'Reilly, for example.
Call me Eternal Watcher.
I saw a preview screening of Team America and I thought it was the funniest movie I have seen all year. The whole theater was constantly laughing. The jokes and gags were so crude and over the top. That is one of the main reasons I thought the movie was so hilarious.
Team America was not afraid to take risks. This movie did not hold anything back. I also think that the film was well executed. The jokes were perfectly timed for the most part and as a satire it worked really well.
I really like South Park (TV Show and movie) so I am used to the humor. Team America did not disappoint. I had high expectations going in and was overwhelmingly impressed when I left. I was surprised though that the movie was actually clever in the way that it mocked and poked fun at serious and pertinent world issues. This movie is not as stupid as some people might presume.
When the DVD is released I hope we can see the movie uncut that include the scenes that the MPAA forced to be removed to get an R rating. The scene in question (which provoked the biggest reaction) is already pretty risky so I wonder how the uncut version would play. Since the studio that would release the DVD is Paramount I doubt the uncut version would be released anytime in the foreseeable future though since they seem to have a policy on not releasing NC-17 movies on DVD.
I don't think anyone will get offended by this movie if they know what they're getting themselves into beforehand. If someone is prepared to view the movie and are familiar with the content, plot, concept and don't take the movie too seriously or unnecessarily read into it than I don't think there will be a problem.
The movie and filmmakers don't guard or protect anyone from their scathing derision or choose political affiliations. Team America has no partisan agenda and supports no cause. Everyone and everything is a target. That's what I enjoyed so much about it. The movie does not pull any of its punches. I commend the filmmakers for having the guts and courage to get this movie actually produced since the concept is rather bizarre.
So overall the movie is worth watching because it's genuinely funny and different than anything that is currently released at the moment. Team America was uproarious and hysterical so if someone wants to be entertained and have a good time then this movie is definitely worth your time and effort.
Call me Vinnie Vegas
Did I say I pooped my pants earlier?
Long time reader, first time...ya know. Anyway, just wanted to say that I caught a sneak of TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE. You all know what happens in the film...what you don't know is how inventive this film really is. It could have easily become a "puppet movie". But it's so much more. Matt and Trey are so much better than that. They have constantly tried to make sure that South Park remains fresh, relevant, and above all, hilarious.
This is a movie that doesn't rely on the novelty of puppets to drive the film. Not that there hasn't been a whole lot of love put into it though. It has. And it makes you believe that world so much more.
But the real driving force of the film is how unsentimental it is. Nothing, and I REALLY mean nothing is sacred. Just put it this way: There is a scene where the puppet Gary is going through one of those soul searching montages with a sentimental song playing trying to decide if he should join Team America. And they actually have a shot of Gary at Arlington National Cemetary in DC. I don't mean a model...I mean, they actually took the puppet to the cemetary and shot him next to the gravestones. And it is hilarious.
I got to the movie early, and we snuck into and watched about 5 minutes of Taxi. Every so often you would hear a few audience members giggle. But not much. This movie had the entire theatre laughing, applauding, the works. Half the crowd stayed to listen to the credits (which has a reprise of every song played in the movie, and one original...definately worth sitting until the very, very end.
If you use me...call me M-Diddy.
Yeah... pooped my pants... ooohhhh...
Hey, harry. Caught the Sneak Preview of Team America: World Police tonight. In short, it was the SHIT. The brilliance that one would expect from a Trey Parker-Matt Stone send up of modern action flicks is totally present in this movie. Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kim Jong Il, and Matt Damon are among the many celebrities who're torn a new asshole over the course of the film. The action scenes are hilariously done, and the puppet sex scene is one of the funniest things committed to celluloid. If there are any problems with it, then it must be that there is a lack of polish to it. The lack of celebrity voice cameos and the surprisingly large amount of jokes that miss clue you in on the time pressure that the team was under. However, when the jokes hit, they hit HARD, and the refreshingly unbiased satire that attacks both sides, right and left, make this movie another work of genius by the "South Park Dudes."
Oh and if you post this... I am SANCHO!
He is not Sancho! Nor is Scott Baio Sancho...
Just got back from a Team America preview screening at Paramount (we were recruited off the street and the crowd seemed to be a blend of paramount staffers and critics) and this movie is the end of the world!
Let me try and give you a taste of this thing without giving anything away...
People were screaming and laughing from beginning to end - and some of the biggest laughs came from the songs (has anyone mentioned the fact that this is a full-on musical - people were singing their ways back to the parking lot afterwards) this is going to be huge!
And it is clearly the work of people who do not give a crap what anyone - Mulsims, Asians, Gays, Liberals, Particular Hollywood Celebrities- thinks about anything. The only consideration to what made it into this one was whether or not it was funny. And if some feathers get ruffled - too bad. I can only imagine what people are going to turn up to raise a stink!
On a technical level - the film is amazing - the sets, the puppets, but also really dramatic chiaroscuro lighting - the film is gorgeous as well as hilarious.
And the politics are going to surprise people - I don't know what you're expecting but I'd say this movie tilts more right than left (which coming from a recent exile from San Francisco was a real relief!) The philosophy expressed seems to be "in the war on terror you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs" though it's expressed in an astoundingly, hilariously vulgar speech.
The Crimson Executioner
Quick, Choda-dog! Fetch another review!!!
How goes it? Wicker Man here. Just rolled in from a great one-two punch of The Mooney Suzuki and "Team America: World Police." A good time was had by all. When I left the movie theater, they were giving away free tickets for the movie tomorrow night, which kind of sucked in a way. I don't think it's possible that this thing is being tweaked, since it's due for release in a week. Anyway, here's the sweet and lowdown.
With regards to the movie itself... I honestly don't know what to make of it. I loved the movie and thought it was hilarious, but it's a satire of action movies, not politics. Don't expect to see Dubya or Mr. Kerry in the movie. This is a satire of action movies that just happens to focus on the current state of global terrorism. Terrorists getting their just desserts, outspoken celebrities getting their just desserts, etc. etc. In a way, it's interesting that Kim Jong Il is the focus of this movie's world terrorism, considering how Mr. Kerry has been talking about the WMD threat of North Korea. I'm sure this was inadvertent to Parker and Stone as filmmakers, but in some loopy way it now seems to bring part of Kerry's ideology about North Korea into consciousness and thereby could have some small real-world political impact in a way the movie never intended (I'm not saying if that's good or bad, just pointing it out as an aside).
Essentially, the movie starts with an attempted terrorist attack in Paris, which is thwarted, but still manages to end with accidental massive destruction, anyway. One of the original members of Team America is killed, which leads the team to recruit as his replacement the great rising actor, Gary Johnston, currently appearing on Broadway in "Lease: The Musical." When he agrees to join the team to help get over a tragic incident in his childhood, the newly regrouped Team America heads to Egypt to thwart some other terrorists that are hiding out there. The mission leads to more averted terrorism, and more accidental destruction (all by the hands of our exuberant heroes). It isn't long before Hollywood (and Michael Moore) starts clamoring against the hotheaded Team America, and shortly thereafter the Tinseltown elite are naively recruited by Kim Jong Il into a peace plan which masks his scheme to use WMDs to equalize the world's suffering as a "Third World" Earth. Before they can stop him, however, Team America will have to put aside its squabbling and personal demons, including Gary's fear about whether or not he can outmatch his hero, Alec Baldwin, in order to save the world.
Overall, the gags are hilarious, made funnier by riffs on the clichÃ©d situations and dialogue regurgitated in every action movie since "Die Hard." The sets, the puppetry, the cinematography (the last by Bill Pope) are all spectacular, but the songs are what stick out. "Team America, Fuck Yeah" and another one about how Ben Affleck sucked in "Pearl Harbor" are two of the standouts. Fear not, neither Affleck nor his pal Matt Damon fare well in this film. I think the savvy approach taken by Parker and Stone, and not just in their mainstay "South Park," is that they make everyone a target of their satire. I guess there's a logic to making fun of every single fucking person on the planet, because in a way, no one's really singled out when everyone's offended (take the "Lease: The Musical" song, "Everyone Has AIDS," for example, which is as comically appalling as it is unifying).
Lastly, I have to mention this. If that sex scene that's been mentioned so often before was really edited down, good lord! What was it like before?! They said something like three minutes was cut down to the roughly 40 seconds I saw tonight. Still, you can't complain when you see a puppet couple banging every which way in a major studio motion picture. That really is a thing of demented beauty.
"Team America: World Police" is a damn funny movie. It ain't all that deep, although there are some ideas within the gags that really do sort of have a resonance. Mostly, just laugh your fool heads off and leave it at that.
Another hot time in the old town tonight...
The Wicker Man
Dammit Jim! We need another review!
Hey Harry and Puppet Masters,
Trey Parker and Matt Stone strike again with Team America: World Police. It?s absolutely hilarious. At one point, I kid you not, I laughed so long and hard that my gut literally got sore. Honest. Really, I?m not exaggerating. The audience applauded several times and was boisterous throughout.
The movie pops the bubbles of liberals and conservatives on skewers of satire. It drags in spots during the middle. Some plot contrivances could be ridiculed more. Of course, they deliberately throw in as many clichÃ©s as possible. But a few could be stretched to greater absurd lengths.
To very funny effect, the audience is constantly reminded they?re watching puppets. Several movie conventions loose their cinematic glory when puppetized. A shot from the Matrix movies comes specifically to mind.
Fingerprints of South Park comic techniques are all over to no surprise. Some jokes have lingered in my mind and I?ll find myself laughing out loud. Parker once again demonstrates his knack for writing memorable hysterical songs. Like South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was in 1999, this will probably be the best musical done anywhere this year. Most sat through the entire credits listening to the songs again. There?s one not in the movie near the credits? end.
Run. Seek it out. I can only hope Team America becomes a colossal hit.
Side Note: The Ratings Debate For This Movie. How ridiculous is it to get bent out of shape over marionettes having sex? You can see the strings the whole time. Just who do the MPAA prudes think they?re protecting? Do they really think a 14 or 15 year old is going to be scarred for life by seeing puppets giving each other blowjobs or pissing on each other (things rumored to have been cut out)? They?re puppets for Christ?s sake. It?s especially ridiculous when some teenagers engage in such activities in their own bedrooms and car backseats. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Oh wait, I forgot, the MPAA board is paid and/or chosen to be culturally asleep. It?s another euphemism for which the word ?conservative? is employed.
10,000 reviews for me to edit by myself. For that you get the head, the tail... the whole damn thing!
I wanted to give you some thoughts on Team America, which I saw at a sneak preview last night at the ridiculously huge AMC Theater in Times Square. The ridiculously huge theater was in place partly because there were so many people that they had to move it to a theater with more seating, which definitely worked in everyone's favor.
Anyhow, the movie itself is pretty extraordinary. It is really tough for me to begin to even describe how much I liked it. If I had to break down my reactions, my love for the movie would be twofold. Firstly, I thought that it was the most anarchic, subversive, and ridiculously unprincipled film with a Hollywood movie studio logo in front of it. This movie has no message and no morality. It is, in its essence, two guys fucking a lot of shit up and making fun of absolutely every human and non-human target. They assail both American imperialism and the so-called Hollywood elite so viciously that it is impossible to discern what side they are on, mainly because there is no side. They just revel in the mockery, which is fine by me. Moreover, the film will probably bring in the guys' South Park humor to a wider audience, which I support. In fact, the funniest scene in the movie was probably two minutes of a puppet vomiting. I love that a lot of the humor unabashedly functions on this level.
Secondly, what I truly loved about the movie is how cinematic and artistic it was. Not only is it a totally devastating mockery of every single conceivable Hollywood cliche, but it is also made with such skill that it stands as a film on its own right. The last thing I expected was to come into the film and admire its craftsmanship, but it is truly extraordinary. The puppets and the sets are beautiful, and the cinematography makes you forget that you are watching a bunch of puppets. The jokes about the puppets are hilarious, but what is most amazing is that you truly end up taking the film seriously (in some strange way).
What the movie ends up being is an absolutely hilarious and devastating mockery of everyone that Parker and Stone can find (with the notable exception of Kerry and Bush) that is made with such care that it ends up transcending its silliness, and becomes a truly great film, at least in my opinion. I am slightly worried that if Kim Jong Il ever sees this film, he will probably end up attacking the United States, but let us hope that he only watches North Korean porn. But even if he does attack, we can feel safe with the motto from Team America: "Freedom isn't free, it costs a buck or five."
Call me Kusturica
You want more? It'll cost you about three fifty... Tree-fiddy!!!
I will keep it short, It was GREAT!......well not that short.
I went with my wife and friend, surprisingly the theater only had like 40 people in it. Possibly due to the lack of knowledge as anyone I talked to never heard of the screening. I will start by saying "Matt Damon", every time he said his name I almost cried it was so funny, I do not know why but it was. The entire film was amazing, it was comically and technically brilliant. I loved how serious the film was taken in an action film aspect. From Gary getting his first glimpse of Lisa, with the whole checking her out from head to toe. To the depression, drink my life away bar scene. All very well done. The score was good as well, perfectly capturing the emotions and actions on screen. The songs are hilarious, proving Parker is truly a genius.
The story was well done, Trey and Matt took no sides. It will offend some with the extreme stereotypical fake (albeit funny as hell) Arabian and Korean languages and accents. My wife was laughing up until the Puppet Sex Scene, which she was total appalled by for some reason, after the film all she said was "what the hell did they cut out?" she don't care for that kinda stuff. So I say go see the film on the 15th (or later) something will make you laugh and or enjoy the movie. Possibly Kim Jong Il's Panthers (Ha-Ha) to the destruction of the amazing sets, or simply the accurate homage to Thunderbirds, something will appeal to you. The 12 year olds in front of me seemed to love it, however their mother kept looking over at them after every other scene.
Enjoy the movie and be glad we get to witness something this great, I did and can not wait to see it one or two more times. I personal hope it fares well as I want to see more films from the creators of South Park as they are so often referred as
Can't get enough? How about a taste of this! COCK-ROCKET!!!
Hello from the Great White North, I've sent a couple little things in the past, but nothing publishable... anyhoo, had the great pleasure of seeing TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE last night and here are my mostly spoiler-free thoughts. It may be brief, but I really don't want to give too much away.
Broadway actor Gary Johnston, star of the hit musical Lease, has been recruited by Team America, an elite organization devoted to destroying terror(and any famous landmarks that may be around)all over the world. Apparently there's a plot to set off some WMD and our hero must act like a terrorist to save the world! Comic hijinks ensue.
And comic they are... from the songs, to Kim Jong Il, to the lampooning of Hollywod liberals, to the puppet sex, which I can assure you is still plenty over the top and really makes you wonder what sort of horrifying debauchery was cut to make it an R... it is a vulgar, offensive, and utterly funny epic. The scene with Gary in the alleyway alone is worth the price of admission.
There are downsides. The jokes don't seem to come as fast as they did in South Park:BLU, but they hit their mark most of the time... and a couple of the scenes seemed to drag on, particularly the "Freedom Isn't Free" number.
Overall, it's a brutal satire which will no doubt cause much bitching and whining from Hollywood fags(wait until you see it, you'll get the joke), as Sean Penn has apparently already come out against it... but if you're not easily offended and you like a good laugh, you could certainly do worse this weekend. It's one of the funniest movies of the year, right up there with Shaun of the Dead and Anchorman.
El Fuego Out.
Phewwww... I'm wiped out. How about you? FUCK YEAH!