TREY PARKER & MATT STONE’S TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses. They don’t give a fuck what you think of them and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I love their work so much. Listen – they dropped acid, dressed as women, and attended the Oscars, at which they were nominees. For this fact alone they’ll be heroes until the end of time. And Team America: World Police is easily one of their finest achievements in foul-mouthed satire, a film so ballsy and made with provocation so firmly on the mind, that I’m still left a tad slack-jawed by the overall combination of absurdity and smarts that they so skillfully mixed together in this celebration and skewering of action movies, Hollywood, the political landscape, and humanity in general.

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I love how they got Harry Gregson-Williams to score the movie with his typical Bruckheimer/Scott bombast, and hiring Bill Pope as your cinematographer demonstrated that they gave a shit how their marionette-based film would look on a visual level – this movie is absolutely artful at times which makes it even funnier to behold. The level of social commentary and the evisceration of the modern action picture and hypocrisies of the movie industry were consistently brilliant and still hold up to this day (“No Gary, I’m not from Hollywood, I’m not gonna fuck your mouth, my time is VERY valuable…”), Parker and Stone’s sense of musical theater is always fascinating, inspired, and jubilant (“Everyone has AIDS!”), and the digs on North Korean lunatic Kim Jong-Il are wildly amusing.

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The film also serves as a fairly devastating critique of American foreign policy while still keeping its head almost completely ensconced in the toilet, with a wild barrage of creatively composed obscenities on display. Also, anyone who spends the amount of time that these clowns did showing puppets in various sexual positions deserves some sort of award for just that bit of lunacy alone. This is easily one of the most off-beat studio productions imaginable, with super-producer Scott Rudin coercing Paramount to spend $35 million on a film that nobody could have had any serious expectations from. The fact that this movie was a hit in theaters, a massive hit on cable/disc, and was warmly embraced by the critical community still makes me smile.

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One thought on “TREY PARKER & MATT STONE’S TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT”

  1. Possibly the most succinct and accurate summary of American foreign policy in any movie. Like most of their projects, more impressive when you realize how far they went to capture the look and feel of what they were parodying. It’s not like Airplane! featured the DOP from The Towering Inferno (although strangely enough it is the DOP from It’s a Wonderful Life).

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