Man, Trey Parker has got no love for Michael Bay. Not only is Team America: World Police constructed as a brutal satire of the lamebrained explody Bay oeuvre (Bad Boys I and II, The Rock, Armageddon), he even has a song in the movie devoted entirely to explicitly proclaiming the massive suckitude of Bay’s Pearl Harbor. Crafting an entire movie–using puppets (or, more specifically, marionettes) no less–to lampoon one guy shows an almost admirable level of commitment on Parker’s part.
Of course, Bay isn’t the only target of Parker and partner Matt Stone’s acerbically comedic wrath. The South Park masterminds aim their satiric cannons in all directions. Parker attacks both sides of the political spectrum with equal ferocity: I give Parker credit for poking not only at the easy targets of the neoconservatives in Washington determined to ruin our country’s relationships with the rest of the world but also at the liberal Hollywood elite who seem to think their opinions on such things matter much more than they do.
Why do I say “Parker” instead of “Parker and Stone,” you might ask? Because I’ve never been more convinced that Trey Parker is the demented creative vision behind the duo’s output and Stone’s just the long-time best friend who Parker keeps around to keep him grounded or keep his juices flowing or what-have-you. Parker directed Team America, co-wrote it (with Stone and Pam Brady), voiced an insane number of the characters (including the Eric Cartman-esque North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il), and even wrote and performed almost all of the insanely catchy and humorous songs in the movie. Parker’s like some kind of strange mashup of Robert Rodriguez and George Carlin.
The big question, of course: is Team America funny? Oh, yeah, it is. It’s nowhere near in the same ballpark as South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, but I don’t think it’s fair to expect that it could be. The South Park movie was very probably the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. Team America‘s pretty damn silly and an effective piece of satire, but I don’t know that it’s even the funniest movie I’ve seen this year.
|Team America: World Police (2004)|
One notable exception to that last statement, though. I’m pretty sure Team America has the single most painfully funny scene I’ve witnessed in quite a while: the extraordinarily graphic sex scene between two of the puppets. The scene’s most definitely not for the easily offended…though if you’re easily offended, you shouldn’t be watching this movie in the first place. The version of the sex scene on the DVD release was the original uncut version–the one they had to snip seventeen times to get an R rating out of this thing to get it into the theaters. Hilarious and bizarrely grotesque at the same time.