Team America: World Police

Nitcentral's Bulletin Brash Reflections: Movies: Animation: Non-Disney Films: Team America: World Police
By Treklon on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 2:38 pm:

It's kind of hard to decide which genre board to put this under; it's in a category all its own. A retro Thunderbirds/Michael Bay action movie spoof/political satire!

I found this to be a strangely entertaining movie. Maybe, it's the novelty of the marienettes and miniature settings. Those detailed miniature sets gave it the same sort of appeal as watching a Godzilla movie (where a man-in-suit stomps through a model city; one cute joke on this features the characters being menaced by housecats as tigers). If the strings on the puppets weren't purposely so overly visible, I think this format could even work for a straightforward puppet film. The film's puppets and sets are much more elaborate than the 60's Thunderbirds.

One thing some critics despised were the scenes featuring Trey and Stones' prediliction for potty humour. The puppet vomitting was so over-the-top it was funny. The whole "puppet sex" scene was a ridiculous noncontroversy. Most little boys have probably done the same thing with their sister's Barbie dolls (to shock them).

The political humour was a different matter. Right wingers will probably be offended. This film really does satirize aggresive American (or Bush administration) policies. I guess to comfort the Bushies (and appear even handed), the spoofs of liberal Hollywood actors are thrown in as villians. Arch Bush critic Michael Moore is even presented as a "fat socialist weasel" terrorist, whose demise would please all devout Bushies.

The description of the the three types of people by the old man in the bar was a classic!

If you haven't seen this (and you enjoy South Park style humour), you should definately see this.

By Matt Pesti on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 3:01 am:

This movie is the best thing Supermarionation ever produced. It's just, just great. Although, I can't really see big international sales. Oh and the soundtrak was perfect. It's just a perfect film

How Parker and Stone escape a lot of defamation lawsuits will be the real special effect. Okay, maybe just Sean Penn.

Oh, and it should be noted. Parker and Stone vote republican It;s likely they really hate Michael Moore. :)

By Brian FitzGerald on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:06 am:

They have a grudge aginst him because in Bowling for Collembine he edited their interview to make it look like they supported his position on gun control and than put their interview infront of his "history of the united states" segment which implies that the NRA and the KKK were one and the same when they were really enimeys when the NRA started, and was animated in southpark style creating the impression that they helped him make it.

By LUIGI NOVI on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 2:07 am:

I walked out of this film after about an hour or so. I couldn't buy into the puppets as characters, and I didn't get most of the humor (aside from a few exceptions, like the bit with the hammer, the vomit, and the "signal" Gary was instructed to give when he was in trouble).

This was no Bigger, Longer, Uncut. Thank God I didn't have to pay for it.

By JM on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 2:16 pm:

This film is a typical example of why liberals shouldn't be allowed to make children's films. It's filled with nonstop profanity, sex, and violence. Of course, leftists consider those acceptable tools for indoctrinating children with anti-Bush propaganda.

By Brian FitzGerald on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 2:46 pm:

Except for the fact that Parker and Stone are not liberals. They discribed their political stance as "I hate conservatives but I really f**king hate liberals."

By JM on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 3:18 pm:

A truly disingenuous claim, as the overwhelming majority of Hollywood is Democratic. The few actors who voice support for Bush are viciously mocked by liberals.

By Merat on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 3:26 pm:

Actually, beyond politics, its not a children's film. Not in the slightest.

By JM on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 3:36 pm:

Cartoons and puppets hold the greatest appeal to children. To say children aren't interested in this film is incorrect.

By Merat on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 3:46 pm:

Oh, I didn't say children weren't interested in this film. I said it isn't a film FOR children. Children are always drawn to movies they aren't supposed to see. Whether its this movie, a horror movie, or a profanity laden comedy, if children aren't supposed to see it, they will want to.

By Bucky Obvious on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 5:01 pm:

The thing is, JM, Stone and Parker didn't make a children's film. They made this movie for adults. I assume as a take-off/parody of the marionette/cartoons they saw as children. But the target audience is not children.

By Brian FitzGerald on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 8:59 pm:

Jm, follow Pesti's link where Parker and Stone "came out" as republicans as it were.

By LUIGI NOVI on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 9:33 pm:

JM: Of course, leftists consider those acceptable tools for indoctrinating children with anti-Bush propaganda.
Luigi Novi: An interesting accusation, given that the targets of this film include actors like Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Benn Affleck, and Matt Damon, moviemakers like Jerry Bruckheimer (the film is actually a parody of his action films), activists like Michael Moore, and dictators like Kim Jong Il. Do you have any idea of what this film is even about? Have you even seen it? Why would you make assertions about its content when you obviously are unaware of what it is?

JM: A truly disingenuous claim, as the overwhelming majority of Hollywood is Democratic.
Luigi Novi: You obviously cannot form coherent logic, or argue with any sort of intellectual honesty. Whether the overwhelming majority is Democratic or leftist does not mean that therefore, ipso facto, every single person it is. Schwarzenegger is not Democratic. Nor is Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Ron Silver, or Mel Gibson.

The point is whether Parker and Stone are. Not whether other people are. It is your reasoning that is disingenuous, not the assertion that Parker and Stone are not liberal, since that is simply a fact, one borne out by watching any interview with them when they do the talk show rounds, or by the fact that they have had a nasty exchange via open letters in the papers with Sean Penn. You apparently are ignorant of the content of this film (as seen above), and now show yourself to be ignorant of its creators’ political leanings, so why exactly would you presume to make empirical assertions about it?

Try researching the facts, JM, rather than talking about things you are obviously ignorant of.

JM: Cartoons and puppets hold the greatest appeal to children. To say children aren't interested in this film is incorrect.
Luigi Novi: You didn’t say children were interested in the film. You said that it was a children’s film, which is not the same thing. “Interested in” doesn’t mean “designed for.” The last couple of decades have shown that creators are not required to restrict their choice of genre or medium when telling stories for adults, as there are certainly plenty of comic books and animated films that are not for mature viewers (particularly in Japan, where comics and animation are not considered to be solely for kids—and whose products have been gradually gaining acceptability here in the U.S.). Family Guy and Father of the Pride are other examples.

Arguing design or intent from mere “interest” is flawed. Children were “interested” in Showgirls (I know, because I worked at a multiplex at the time, and a few kids tried to bribe me to let them into the auditorium showing it), and for that matter, in that which is considered taboo or restricted in general. That doesn’t mean that therefore that material is “children’s.”

By Treklon on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 9:20 am:

The Thunderbirds film from earlier this year was a real bomb. Perhaps, they should have made a straight forward marienette film (instead of a live action film). This film probably made up for the absense of marienettes in that film (for some people).

By Rodney Hrvatin on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 1:28 am:

I never picked Luigi for a film snob who walks out of movies. Really annoys me, people who walk out of films or theatre and then diss it. You never know what you miss, for all Luigi knows the last part of the film might be quite good which could, in all fairness, lead him to say "The end was ok, but the first hour was so awful I nearly walked out".

Might I humbly suggest JM has probably seen more of the film than you have, Luigi.

By LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 6:38 am:

I'm not interested in a good "last part." I'm interested in a film that holds my attention in its entirety. That's not snobbery. It's making a choice, and I chose to walk out of film I didn't care for, period. That is perfectly "fair." Snobbery would be insulting people who didn't agree with my opinion of the film, as if value judgments can really be made on that basis, and there are certainly a good number of people who do that.

Rodney: Might I humbly suggest JM has probably seen more of the film than you have, Luigi.
Luigi Novi: His description of its contents would seem to indicate otherswise, and I explained how so above.

By Mark Twain on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:10 pm:

You don't need to eat the whole apple to know it's rotten.

By Brian Webber on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 1:47 pm:

I for one never leave a film, no matter how bad, becuase I figure, I paid for it, I might as well suffer. Luigi got to see it for free, so I have no problem with his walking out, thoguh as a South Park/Orgazmo/That's My Bush fan, I have a hrad time beliving I won't enjoy at least some of this moive when I finally get to see it.

By LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 9:32 pm:

Regarding paying and walking out, the policy of the Loews theater chain, as far as I know from having worked for it, was that if they ask for their money back after having seen less than half of the movie, the theater will do so. Seems fair.

By Frankenstoat on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 8:53 pm:

Re:Treklon's comment
What do you expect, when Gerry Anderson had no input whatsoever on the Thunderbirds movie...?.
Reportedly, when Gerry was shown sample footage of the movie, by Parker & Stone, he liked it....

By Treklon on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 6:13 pm:

I saw one of those old Thunderbird movies on tv yesterday. The strings supporting the marionettes were largely invisible. This movie could have been played more straight (strings less visible and the puppets movements less jerky). It could have been fun without the satirical elements. On the other hand, if those strings weren't visible (making the puppets look like real life people), all the violence in this film would be more disturbing.

Still, it would be nice if a new Thunderbirds movie could be made using puppets. It's unlikely though. This film cost 34 million dollars to make. Things sure are more expensive today!

By Rodney Hrvatin preparing for Luigi can of whoop-a$$ on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 9:31 pm:

Well I saw this one yesterday (and unlike some on this board, stayed to the end) and I have to say that no wonder Americans hate it. Any film which mocks Americans in any way usually raises the ire of the hefty majority of the US population- it's the American way.
As someone from outside the US, I thought it was a ripping caricature of the typical US action film that gets churned out ad nauseum by Bruckheimer and co. The cliched dialogue, the "US is the only country with guts" attitude, the ubiquitous sex scene and maniacal evil person.
The whole political aspect of it is probably what made it so likeable. Kim Son Il is real, so are the actors being mocked.
The musical numbers (especially "Everyone has AIDS" from "Lease") were really brilliant yet again.
The only segment of this that made me think they had milked a gag too far was the vomit scene- just far too many times for my liking.
'Fraid I must disagree with Mr. Ebert on this one. This film is brilliant.

By LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 4:51 pm:

I don't know why you think I would "open up" on you, Rodney, since I haven't done so with anyone else here merely for not sharing my opinion of this film. In fact, I don't think I recall ever doing that, though there are others who have certainly attacked me thus.

Me, I didn't hate it, nor did I leave because it mocked Americans. As a big fan of MAD Magazine, I love good satire. I walked out simply because I didn't find the humor funny. I think South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut mocked Americans, and it was a work of genius, one which I have on tape at home.

By constanze on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 12:30 am:

I watched this movie yesterday, and generally liked it. It was a bit odd to get used to the visible strings (though the start - a puppet playing a puppet in front of a badly drawn background was funny) and the odd movements (esp. walking) in contrast to the incredibly well done faces, but they used that for several jokes, too (when actor guy is riding his small bike on the real roads - the whole audience laughed. In one shot, you can see that the bike will careen off the road; in another, the tiny wheels that really make it drive; in one shot, it almost stops...) And everybody loved the kittens-as-panthers scene.
I thought this was a liberal's spoof - from the movie, I had no idea they are republicans.

I agree that the vomit scene was overdone. (half the audience was laughing and cheering, the other half was going "gross, please move on".) But some of the other violent scenes were close to gross, too.

There were so many inside jokes ... Of course, the audience laughed right when the first title came up, with "Paris, France, ...XXX miles east of America." Or the stereotypical arabic-looking terrorist. Everybody cheered when the Team destroys Paris (and later, Cairo). Or the diamond-ring-scene (and everybody knew the guy who wants to marry won't live long...)
Lisa asking Actor guy not to die...
The sex scene ... we all laughed to split our sides (though it went on a bit too long for my taste, like the vomit scene) it's hard to see anything less sexual than two wooden dolls, even if one has breasts...
The transformation of actor guy into a terrorist (I wonder that nobody mentioned the language problem - but then, nobody in action films needs to speak a different language than english. Mission Impossible never needed to!)
The garbled Arabic..
BTW, the speech Actor guy gives in Cairo "I was only a boy when the Black Hawks helicopter..." is that from Star Wars about the Empire, or Conan the Barberian? It sounded familiar.
The karate fighting scene in paris - first, the crane technique, then it looks as if they're dancing ...
Simliarly, the matrix style shot in Korea - and then they simply circle each other...

And Kim Song Il singing "I#m a lonely guy"...
Hans Blix and the UNO...

Of course, when Kim Song Il was killed, everybody cheered ... now we knew whey Germany had been represented with a headgear 100 years out of date...

I thought the "we're dicks, pussys and a**holes" speech went on a bit too long. I'm not a fan of that kind of humor (probably because the shock value isn't that big over here - it's the "so what"? level).

I thought they mocked the actors (and FAQ) because the republicans seem to think all Hollywood is liberal and against them - stereotypes again.

Was it done on purpose that there are no blacks or asians or other minorities on the Team? (And when they relax in their headquarters after Cairo, they look like yuppies...) Since most action movies have blacks only as the bad guys or cannon fodder (see the racial clichee alert at one of the badmovie sites?)

By John A. Lang on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:12 am:

This movie is coming to DVD. I think it's coming out in June

By Thande on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 5:24 am:

Actually, I think the action movie racial cliché is more that black people are always cast as token buddies of the lead (white) hero character and often get killed very rapidly.

By constanze on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 1:01 pm:


here is the racial cliche alert explained.

The gist of it is:


"The RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is to let you know that, no matter how many victims or how many people from different races are in the Horror/Thriller movie, the whites and ONLY the whites were cast as the survivors."

By John A. Lang on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 2:00 pm:


The Eiffel Tower (By Team America)

The Louvre (By Team America)

The Pyramids of Gaza (By Team America)

The Sphinx (By Team America...sort of)

The Panama Canal (By the terrorists)

Mount Rushmore (By Michael Moore)

By John A. Lang on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 8:27 pm:

Forgot: The statue of Raameses & Nefertiri (By Team America)

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