It’s official: Matt Stone and Trey Parker have replaced Mel Brooks as kings of satire on film (not that they care about that sort of thing, right?)
Team America is an international anti-terrorist freedom fighting force that gets the job done (no matter how many innocents get killed in the crossfire of some truly-inspired Jerry Bruckheimer movie moments). After one of the team members is lost, liaison Agent Spottswoode (voice of Daran Norris) recruits an actor named Gary Johnston (voice of Trey Parker) to infiltrate the terrorist network and discover their secret plans. The team is poking under the wrong rocks for snakes, however, because North Korea dictator Kim Jong II (also voice of Trey Parker) is secretly coordinating the terrorists and will stop at nothing short of destroying the American way of life (and every major city on earth). To accomplish this, he will first deploy his secret weapon: the politically charged anti-war members of the Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.) and its unflinching leader, Alec Baldwin.
Unsatisfied with still having merely one of the funniest and still unpolitically correct shows on cable (South Park), creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have once again attempted to erase the line between good taste and burning satire in an effort to undermine anything held sacred and offend everyone as often as possible, not the least of which are those who make movies themselves. The result is one of the funniest films you’ll ever feel uncomfortable about laughing out loud at and recommending to your friends.
The script will be most amusing to people who watch too many films (which can only make it a hit with critics except those who take their film too seriously) while the rest goes out of its way to be offensive: explosive vomiting, overly realistic carnage, and classic cursing used by animated third and fourth graders everywhere (have we mentioned yet that all these horrible things are being done by and happening to two-foot tall animatronic marionettes yet?) Finally, the songs are nothing short of hilarious, from a kick-ass anthem for killing terrorists to a self-loving soliloquy by the villain who just wants to be understood. And, oh yes, there are puppets having intercourse (and everything that implies).
Sure, this is an answer to all the post 9/11 hype and just in time for debate about the state of the world prior to electing the next American president, but how can a film with Michael Moore infiltrating a government installation as a suicide bomber laden with explosives (detonator in one hand, hot dog in the other) be all bad? This movie successfully takes pot shots at those who take themselves a bit too seriously and purposefully laughs everyone this movie will certainly enrage (hey, it worked for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, didn’t it?)
Enjoy but remember: if you laugh, the terrorists win.
(a three and a half skull recommendation out of four)