HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Team America: World Police
HTS Overall Score:66
Self-advertised as the movie that set out to offend everyone on the planet, “Team America” actually is one of the funniest satires on American culture, even though it doubles as one of the guiltiest pleasures on Earth. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the kings of parody and social satire, turning “South Park” from a gross out gag of a show into one of the most poignant and straight shooting series of the last 20 years (despite their rampant vulgarity). “Team America: World Police” uses stereotypes, and equal opportunity offending as a way to have a little fun, and sometimes poke fun at some social issues that were a big deal back in the early 2000’s. It may not be a little kid’s puppet show, but it certainly can make you laugh.
Team America, the overly racist, rootin tootin gun shootin paramilitary group for the U.S. of A. has done it again. They’ve gone into a third world country and stopped a Jihadist terrorist attack (complete with every Middle Eastern stereotype known to man) just by blowing up half of Paris….including the Louvre. After a team mates death, the group is one member short of a full load (along with a few other things short of a full load as well). Hoity toity leader of the group, Spottswoode, goes and finds Gary, a young actor on Broadway, to fill in the role. Distrusted by the team and wondering why he’s there, Gary is told that they need him to use his acting skills and pose as a terrorist and find out where their next bomb is going off.
Valmorphisized (no one knows what that is) and given a fake beard, Gary is sent into the heart of Cairo and pushed into action before you can say “bob’s your uncle”. Things go south, and yeah, Team America blows up more stuff in order to save Gary. As retaliation, the terrorists blow up the Panama Canal, killing over a thousand people. Grief stricken with the knowledge that he might have been responsible, Gary ditches the team and goes off to drink himself into Oblivion.
On the other side of the world (always listed as being Xx miles away from the U.S.), the real mastermind behind the terrorist attacks goes about with his devious plan. Kim Jong IL, despotic leader of North Korea, has been behind the attacks all along, and plans to use the Film Actors Guild (I’ll let you guess what that acronym is) to distract the world while he sets of more WMDs. Realizing that it was a mistake to leave, Gary comes back to find the base blown to smithereens and the rest of the team captured by Kin Jong Il. Prepping his vocal chords and training like no other (for at least 24 hours), Gary has to use his acting skills one last time to save the free world.
What makes “Team America: World Police” so much fun is the equal opportunity insulting. Matt and Trey have their own political agenda, but they do a fantastic job at making sure it’s never one sided in the joke department. For ever conservative stereotype and insulting joke to the right, there’s at least a good handful of jokes ripping on the some of the more …shall we say… aggressive liberals. Michael Moore, Helen Hunt, Matt Damon, President Bush, Kim Jong Il himself. They all get riffed and roasted within an inch of their life while the two “South Park” creators take a subversively serious poke at some of the American policies that were really under the lime light in the early 2000s.
The movie is rude, it’s crude and it’s vulgar at times, but always done with a lighthearted humor that shows why Matt and Trey can get away with offending so many people in so many different ways. They use wildly offensive stereotypes about every one, and every race so much that you stop being offended when you realize no one is safe from the criticism. Conservatives get chewed out for being a bit too aggressive militarily, while the liberal end of the spectrum gets completely made fun of for seemingly stupid hatred of anything capitalist along with a billion other jokes. It’s a clever little flick that really works best with a group and a ton of booze, but it’s still quite a bit of fun by one’s self. I know I’ve seen “Team America” a dozen times and each time it’s as funny as the last.
Rated R for graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language - all involving puppets
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55434[/img]The 2.40:1 AVC encoded transfer looks rather pleasing, but suffers from a bit of a mushy and soft look to the image. Colors are bright and cheerful, with plenty of pop, from the bright puppet blood, to the red white and blue of the Team America vehicles. Detail is a bit fuzzy, with both the long shots and close ups looking a bit soft. The image is covered in a nice layer of grain and a mixture of a little bit of digital noise. I wouldn’t say the image is horribly by any means, but being taken from a dated master leaves it only looking “good” rather than “great. I will say, the encode looks a bit better than the previously released U.K. edition, which suffered from heavy DNR and some weird artifacting.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55442[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is solid, and definitely an increase in fidelity from the old 2001 DVD, but there is a disappointing lack of “punch” to the track. Vocals are clean and clear, locked up front in the middle channel, but the surrounds are used minimally. They have some cool moments when the planes and vehicles are roaming around, but other than those moments, the surrounds tend to fade into the background. LFE is there, but decidedly lacking impact, content to just add a very little low end to the track. Directionality is limited along with the dynamic range, as explosions sound about on the same level as the rest of the track.
“Team America” is one of the most irreverent and ridiculously fun comedies that the “South Park” creators have come up with yet. It’s easily one of the most quotable films I have in my collection and is best viewed with a bunch of buddies and some alcoholic libation to poke and prod along the jokes. The audio and video are not the greatest in the world, but hold up reasonably well. The only thing that REALLY disappointed me was the complete and utter lack of extras of any kind. If you have the DVD it’s still worth the upgrade, as the $8.99 selling point makes up for the mediocre disc specs. Fun for a watch.
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Kristin Miller, Masasa Moyo
Directed by: Trey Parker
Written by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish (Castllian), Spanish (Latin), German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 98 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th 2015
Buy Team America: World Police On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Good Watch
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