‘Team America’ terrorizes theaters

Elizabeth Saragosa

Every Wednesday, at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central, Trey Parker and Matt Stone give TV- viewers a dose of boundary- pushing satire with their hit show “South Park.”
They’re at it again with their new controversial movie, “Team America: World Police,” but this time instead of foul-mouthed fourth graders made from torn construction paper it’s terrorist-fighting police marionettes, strings and all.
“Team America” is, to say the least, profane, highly offensive, subversive, controversial and did I mention outrageously hysterical? It’s an equal opportunity diatribe for everyone from those left-winged liberal loonies, to the right-winged self-righteous radicals and anyone else in between.
The film dripped with knee-slapping vulgarity and a type fixation on sex and bodily humor that’s reminiscent of junior-high.
The film is rated “R” but was originally rated “NC-17” mainly due to sexual content. Parker and Stone managed to cut back on the crudity, but what remains is still an explicit sex scene between two completely neutered marionettes – a rampant puppet “sexcapade,” the likes of which you’ve never seen on screen. Caligula would’ve blushed.
The six members of Team America are determined to stop terrorism and find the weapons of mass destruction at any cost, but in their haste to end terror they end up doing more damage than good. In the opening scene alone they destroy the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, but hey they got the terrorists, right?
When one puppet dies in the opening scene they are in need of a replacement, so they recruit Broadway extraordinaire, Gary Johnston who has a double major in theatre and world languages. After some persuading Gary sees that the world needs his acting skills so he leaves his starring role on the Broadway smash “Lease” (a rip off the musical “Rent”) in which he sings, “Everyone Has…” well, I’ll let you see it.
With the added help of Gary the team faces a world of terrorism from Cairo to North Korea to Panama to even Hollywood.
No one is safe from the brutality of Parker and Stone, not even A-list actors such as Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, George Clooney and Helen Hunt. They and their colleagues from the Film Actors Guild (I’ll let you figure that acronym on your own) join forces to try and stop whom they think the real terrorists are – Team America.
The film is strewn with Parker and Stone’s personal politics, but I found the most glaring is their blatant anti-Jerry Bruckheimer-ism (not to mention they obviously dislike Matt Damon).
Parker and Stone have called “Team America” a “Bruckheimer movie with marionettes,” and sure enough the film is in fact a play-by-play of your typical Bruckheimer film, a la “Top Gun,” complete with your leading man (who looks a lot like Tom Cruise with Val Kilmer’s cheekbones) who has a guilt-ridden past, which he must confront and overcome while maintaining his masculinity.
Daytime-drama-like plot lines rear their ugly heads in the middle of action sequences. And let’s not forget the hot babe of a heroine who stands by her man through all his turmoil.
Then there’s the traditional twist in which our struggling hero needs to clear his head and think things through while an inspiringly cheesy song is played in the background. And of course the montage where our hero regains his strength and gets his head back into the game. Sound familiar?
Although I was roaring with laughter with the rest of the audience I found it to be a bit irksome after the first 45 minuets. Perhaps that’s the beauty of “South Park.” You have an onslaught on that weeks hot cultural or social topic and a moral at the end in 30 minuets.
But all in all I found it definitely worth my $8 and in the immortal words of Cartman, “This movie has warped my fragile little mind.”