Monday, April 3, 2006

Team America: Muppets Gone Wild

In the late 1950s or early 1960s, Gene Daniels sang of taking 100 pounds of clay, and making the world a better place.

In 2004, Parker and Stone took a hundred pounds of clay, a few tons of other odds and ends, and wrought havoc in the name of freedom and denigrating Hollywood.

I admit, I'm not much of a movie-goer. It's 2006, and I'm only now getting around to seeing the 2004 release of Team America: World Police. And only then, 'cuz I didn't have to rent it (a friend loaned me the DVD). That, and I figured it'll help my next blog posting make sense in a digressive way.


I'm sure some folks know the background hyar: the creators of South Park (Trey Parker/Matt Stone) created not an animated movie, but a marrionettesquepade, starring all sorts of figurines (real and imagined) from the current-day war (shooting and yapping) on terror. And done up in the typical Parker/Stone genre (lowbrow raunchy language, sex, violence, abuse of silly putty, crustaceans, actors, directors, Scientologists, et al), though at least in this case there was no killing of Kenny by "those bastards", whoever they're held to be.

Not that this movie has any shortage of killing or bastards. Just like action movies I surmise it's meant to mock, the kill ratio outdoes even Dirty Harry, Martin Riggs or a T-rex at their most lethal.

Because the movie was rated for sex, violence and language -- and because I didn't want to have to pause it every 10 seconds to explain the string thing to Seymour -- I briefly hesitated to let my pet rock and his earette gal pal (Jane) partake in the movie review.

One look from a crestfallen rock and corn cobette caused me to relent.

Since I was accused of giving away too much of the movie plot in Mars Attacks! (even though the movie'd been out for nearly 10 years when I got around to reviewing it....sheesh), I will not go so far with Team America: World Police. I'll simply postulate these humble, subjective observations for those in the reading audience who, like me, haven't seen this thing yet:

1. This ain't your Mortimer Snerd or Peanut from HBO; and it most definitely ain't for kids, save for the kids that lurk for a lifetime inside most adults. If you still laugh at a "pull my finger" moment, you'll laugh at something in this movie.

2. The opening scene and wasting of Paris to "save it" was pretty ham-handed. I liked that. In fact, the gratuitous destruction in various and sundry places -- a jeep decapitating the Sphinx in Egypt, for example -- was thoroughly gratifying for action movie buffs who dig rampant, over-the-top destruction of whatever/wherever.

3. The underlying satire of action films was obvious in every stage; granted, I'm easily amused, and I found it easy to be amused throughout this romp.

4. Parker's/Stone's dislike of Hollywood actors/actresses is obvious and equally hilarious; especially the climatic battle between liberal Hollyputtys and Team America. It really is too bad that the real actors/actresses portrayed wouldn't lend their voices to their marrionettes, but (a) that's Hollywood egos for you and (b) Parker/Stone would have phfffffed their offer.

5. The (in)famous marrionette sex scene is...well, let's put it this way: Jane had her eyes covered (wherever they are on an earette of corn), and Seymour had a *duck hit over the head* look throughout; he was rather annoyed with me later, since everytime he tried to ask a question (about every new position), I was laughing too hard to respond. Bottomline: I think even Dr. Ruth could have learned a thing or two from this scene. I know I did. What, I'm not sure...maybe that even marrionettes need Viagra, or that slivers are sexy?

*Not in those regions...ewwww*.

6. The music -- especially the novel creations made especially for the film -- deserved awards. My particular favorites were Kim Jong Il's soulful rendition of "I'm So Ronery", and the haunting, poignant love song, "Pearl Harbor (the movie) Sucks, And I Miss You". Having seen the All-Ben-Affleck All-The-Time mockumentary-as-movie, I couldn't agree more. It did suck. And hearing my name trashed in the lyrics (though Parker/Stone are actually trashing that director yahoo who stole my name), was priceless.

In the end, I have to say that I found myself laughing at the satire, the absurdity, and at times I can't even say were funny. "So stupid that it was funny" isn't quite the case; but it's pretty close. Like Mars Attacks!, if you can suspend all reason or drink enough wine beforehand, Team America: World Police isn't a bad way to spend 90-some (very)odd minutes of an evening.

I'm just not sure you should try any parts of "that scene" at home.

If there's a downside to having reviewed this movie, it's that Seymour is now eyeing Jane with "that look". Fortunately, I didn't answer any of his questions, so he doesn't know what "that look" means, let alone what to do about it, at least for now.

Better still, since Jane has proven pretty adept at fending off unwanted attention with the flyswatter.


Blogger FTS said...

Sometimes I'm glad I don't spend much of my money at the theatres. The only thing on my radar at the moment is Ice Age: The Meltdown. Yeah, I know. I dig the animated stuff. Most of the time it makes more sense than the "real" people.

03 April, 2006 17:43  
Blogger Karen said...

I thought the movie would be good from what I'd heard but I heard wrong. I didn't get half way through without the urge to toss it in the garbage. I'm impressed you made it through the whole thing, but it made for a funny post ;-)

03 April, 2006 20:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of South Park, so I'm betting I wouldn't be too keen on this. Let me know when it's been out 10 years. Maybe I'll give it a view then. Funny review, though.

04 April, 2006 08:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't seen it.. and probably won't .. but your post made me smile.

07 April, 2006 09:05  

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