If subtlety were a sin, this movie would be an immaculate conception. Team America is the cinematic equivilent of a fraternity hazing, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I got the feeling that writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone were on a beer bender when they wrote it and then got the studio execs drunk before they pitched the idea. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either.
This is one of those films where summarizing the plot is pointless because, outside the context of the movie, the plot is beyond stupid. That’s not a criticism, just an observation. Parker and Stone would probably not only agree, but would laugh and call me names if I said otherwise.
The film uses the Supermarionation style of puppet animation, made famous by Gerry Anderson in the 1960s with series like Thunderbirds, to lampoon both the modern high-budget action movie and collective idiocies of post-9/11 politics. Some have singled out Michael Bay‘s collective work as the target for the spoof but I think Parker and Stone’s aim is a bit more broad than that. American action films have been stupid enough to be ridiculed even without Bay’s involvement and Team America lacks the MTV-inspired, seizure-inducing editing style needed to make it a true parody of Bay’s “oeuvre”.
The film’s other target is the shallow and self-important politics of left wing Hollywood celebrities like Sean Pean and Alec Baldwin. Basically, the members of the Film Actors Guild (FAG. Get it?) are opposed to the actions of Team America, who fight terrorism the same way Parker and Stone write jokes, with little regard to collateral damage. As a result the members of FAG become willing dupes of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il (or a least a puppet that looks vaguely like him with an accent that would have been a racially offensive cliche forty years ago, not that there’s anything wrong… Well, maybe there is something wrong with that).
Is this film for you? If you are easily offended by explicit puppet sex, puppet scatology and graphic puppet violence, probably not. If you’re Janeane Garafolo‘s mother and/or have a masturbatory devotion to Michael Bay, probably not. If you’re willing to waste two hours of your life in exchange for a lot of cheap laughs at the expense of famous people who probably deserve it, then go for it. Will seeing this film make you a better, smarter person? Are you out of your fucking mind?