Midweek Mention... Team America: World Police

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Manage episode 342440480 series 2645791
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TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (2004) began life as a straight parody of Bruckheimer style action movie tropes before morphing into something more satirical after the commencement of the Iraq War, and successfully captures the sardonic fury of those who accused the US of pursuing recklessly jingoistic and interventionist foreign policies in the wake of 9/11, whilst simultaneously spearing the hypocrisy and vanity of the narcissistic Hollywood liberal elite and their self-interested and superficial virtue signalling activism.
On the face of it then TA:WP is a political movie but the SOUTH PARK not quite alumni's usual brand of bland devil's advocacy social satire means that the film's message, summed up in an expletive ridden monologue, is a confused 'violence isn't always the answer but it's necessary when there are no other options' bit of whataboutery wrapped up in a cringingly pro-Republican metaphor about the US political system, at least that's what it looks like from this side of the Atlantic, 18 years after the film’s release. Trey Parker and Matt Stone's persistent nihilism and equal opportunist approach to offensive content means there is plenty of homophobia, sexism and racism throughout.
Good job the whole thing is still very funny then, with the film’s casual discrimination and hostile stereotypes going well past ridiculous all the way to absurd. It also helps that the duo along with regular collaborator Pam Brady have a great understanding of the pace and mechanics of the action movies they deconstruct, complemented by polished cinematography from Bill Pope (THE MATRIX, BABY DRIVER) and painstaking production design. Though the puppets themselves were notoriously difficult to work with - the pair dubbed their approach 'SuperCrappyMation' and frequently expressed their hatred for the technique - we are treated to several great gags like the setup to an elaborate fight sequence or a graphic sex scene made all the funnier by the application of the medium they chose. The songs are catchy, the dialogue crude and the disdain for Michael Bay palpable. Matt Damon.

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