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Team America: World Police

USA/Germany 2004
produced by
Scott Rudin, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Scott Aversano (executive), Anne Garefino (executive) for Paramount, MMDP Munich Movie Development & Production
directed by Trey Parker
written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Pam Brady, music by Harry Gregson-Williams, puppets and puppeteering by the Chiodo Brothers, miniatures by Cinema Production Services, animatronix by Gilderfluke & Co, visual effects by CIS Hollywood

marionation

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Team America prides itself to be the world police, bringing truth, justice and the American way of life to teh furthest corners of the world, whether they want it or not (and more often it's not, actually). But after stopping a terrorist plot in Paris and destroying half of the city in the process, they are one man short - and hire Broadway actor Gary to fill the empty spot. Point is, they need an actor to go undercover at a terrorist hideout in Cairo - and somehow Gary manages to succeed in his mission too, and with the destruction of Cairo, a stop seems to have been put to the terrorist threat ... until the terrorists blow up the Panama Canal as retaliation, which is a big blow for Gary, since as a child, his acting has caused his brother to be maimed by gorillas, and now he thinks himself responsible for the latest attack. And when his acting idol Alec Baldwin mobilizes the Film Actors Guild (FAG) against Team America, that's too much for him and he quits the team.

Team America goes against the terrorists without Gary, but without an actor on their side, they are almost powerless and fall into the hands of the terrorists and their secret leadeer North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Il plans to assemble all world leaders for a peace conference and have Alec Baldwin and all his liberal actor friends like Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn and so on as key note speakers - while everywhere in the world, Kim simultaneously launches terrorist attacks.

Of course, Gary finds back onto the right path just in time, returns to the Team America headquarters, which have in the meantime been almost destroyed by filmmaker Michael Moore, and goes on a mission to North Korea, freeing his friends, killing the liberal actors, and finally upstaging Alec Baldwin with a speech about dicks, pussies and assholes, which finally brings down Kim Jong Il - also literally.

And once more, Team America has made the world a safer place ...

 


Pretty much, a parody of the popular 1960's marionation TV-series Thunderbirds - but for grown-ups, with sex, violence and (mostly blunt) political satire thrown in. But does that make Team America a good film?

Well, it doesn't make it a bad film, in many ways it pays loving but tongue-in-cheek hommage to the series it's supposed to spoof, and that's at least cute, it also very accurately spoofs the action genre as a whole (even if the line between genre and genre parody becomes at times blurred) - but its satire very often is a bit too heavy-handed and misses the mark, which really is a pity because there would have been so much laughs in actors trying to be the better politicians and the like. Plus, the songs, while ironically meant, become very annoying before too long.

This all makes Team America neither really good nor really bad, but it's perhaps a great party film, when a few beers and loud friends prevent one from following the plot too closely and make one more appreciative for blunt humour.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD