I first started writing for this fine website in May of last year. One of the first news stories I wrote was about the amazing duo of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the geniuses behind South Park, were doing a movie featuring marionettes saving the world. I was blown away, because it sounded simply hilarious. Cut to, well, today, when I found out that it indeed was, simply hilarious. If you're not fond or, or even familiar with Parker and Stone's works, which also include the outrageous comedies BASEketball and Orgazmo, this probably isn't your cup of proverbial tea. But, if you are a fan, buckle up, baby, because Trey and Matt have a whole new gig, with strings attached.
This flick starts off in Paris, of all places, a few thousand miles away from America...the exact number is in the movie. But all is not well, in the City of Love because terrorists are there, with the dreaded WMD's, or Weapons of Mass Destruction, for those of you who don't read newspapers or like acronyms. But the red white and blue of Team America comes to the rescue and save the day...while virtually destroying almost everything in Paris. But, of course, their new mission isn't too far away, with more terrorists with WMD's. So they recruit the acting stylings of Gary Thompson, starrin in the Broadway play, Lease (guess which play they're spoofing here?). His job is to act like a terrorist so he can find out the next dastardly deed done by the terrorists.
I think everyone forgot about puppeteering after Being John Malkovich, but whoever is pulling the strings in this movie does a wonderful job. There are parts where we see the limitations of the puppets, but they are done so overtly that you get the feeling they're just trying to overaccentuate it for comedic purposes, which works very well. The very first scene in Paris is great, because it shows a very poor looking puppet show, and just when you think the whole movie will be like this, they pull back to reveal one of the puppets putting on a puppet show on the street. Sure, in the movie, in most parts, can see the strings, but who really gives a s**t. The puppets are used just perfectly and for this type of material, it seemed just perfect, instead of them doing their standard cardboard cut-out animation like they do for South Park.
Like South Park, almost all the voices are done by Trey and Matt, and they're all just great, especially Trey's voice of the nasty little Korean Kim Jong-Il ("Herrro") that is basically the voice of the City Wok guy on South Park. The "disclaimer" before every South Park episode states that the celebrity voices are impresonated poorly, and they are done poorly here, but that just makes it even funnier, especially Matt Damon's only repeating line, "Matt Damon!" The best voice is probably from Daran Norris, who voices Team America's patriarch, Spottswoode. It sounds like a blend between Charlton Heston and the late Phil Hartman, and his voice is just spot on for this "role." I was a little surprised that they chose to mock George Clooney, since he's been well documented as an enormous fan of South Park, but he's not really in it that much.
The script, written by Trey, Matt and Pam Brady, who also co-wrote South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, is wonderful. It's filled with cutting satire about America's militant ways and takes shots at many prominent figures, including a certain documentarian who never seems to have a problem finding a camera to be in front of. Oh, and the songs! Remember the brilliant songs from the South Park movie? They're just as great here, and the songs take shots at director Michael Bay and makes fun of montages. It's just some razor-sharp writing here that will have you laughing your balls off the whole time.
Director Trey Parker...umm, well they're marionettes, so I guess he did a good job getting the string-pullers to pull the strings right. The sets are actually quite lavish also...well, more lavish than you would expect at least. Everything is just pulled together wonderfully here, pardon the pun, under Parker.
Team America: World Police is a movie about what happens when you do things that pisses off two of the sharpest satirical comedy writers today. They don't ease up on anything here. This is balls to the wall fun, people, and they just don't care who they offend, which is why these guys are awesome! This basically sums up the flick: Add satirical wit from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, stir in some puppets, celebrities and terrorists and what you get is a s**tload of entertainment. This is by far the funniest movie of the year!