Wow. There is a hell of a lot to unpack in Team America: World Police. This film is from the creators of South Park which means it’s extremely crass and offensive. What’s interesting to me is that while this film is offensive towards both the political left and right, they really do come after the left with a vengeance. The comedy comes frequently and I will say it made me laugh a good amount of times, not as much as I would’ve liked but it had me laughing more times than I thought it would.
I probably should’ve known that this film would be a political satire but I just assumed it was a bubblingly inappropriate adult comedy, I really was caught by surprise with the large amount of political content. Team America is the way over the top ‘Merica group that polices the world and also cause mass destruction due to their recklessness while they take out terrorists. The designs on their planes and helicopters, their behavior, and their theme song all pick fun at the America is #1 conservative Republican ideology. Just from seeing this at the beginning you’d think that this was a liberal film making fun of conservatives…. but wait. As the film goes on it becomes increasingly clear that the much bigger target is liberals, specifically “liberal Hollywood”. A number of well known A list actors that have engaged in left wing activism are viciously spoofed. The “Film Actors Guild” is presented as a group of elite Hollywood actors who want to take down Team America and form a “Peace Ceremony” with Kim Jong Il. So from there on out “liberal Hollywood elites” are teaming up with a communist dictator and it’s them versus Team America. The actors include Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, and more. They’re portrayed as stupid because they really believe Kim wants to usher in a new era of peace but then later on Michael Moore is presented as a terrorist who wants to carry out violence AND those liberal actors are killing people to stand with this dictator and push his agenda. So liberals are first presented as dumb…. then evil commies.
I understand wanting to spoof famous people and that can be funny but I think there’s a problem with presenting Michael Moore as a Jihad like terrorist and specific Hollywood actors as idiotic Communist supporting antagonists. Team America: World Police isn’t really an equal opportunity offender because while Team America is idiotic in certain scenes and has an over the top comical conservative vibe, the “liberal Hollywood elite” becomes the real enemy and evil force to take down. It’s just an undeniable fact that this film presents liberals as stupid, “p***ies” (their word not mine), communists, terrorists. And the worst thing conservatives get is that they are a little over the top with their “America F**k Yeah!” attitude. Oh and during a speech towards the end, the liberal actors are presented as “p***ies who get f**ked by d**s” in an analogy.
I have no issue with making an evil dictator an antagonist and spoofing him but also making liberal Americans and Hollywood actors the villains is not smart and it makes the film look like it was presented by Fox News. It may seem like I’m harping on the politics a lot but you must realize that it’s a huge part of the film. The comedy does hit and work on several occasions and all the moments where the comedy worked for me were the jokes that were non political. I don’t have anything against political comedy, SNL spoofs both sides all the time. The problem here is that almost 100% of the comedy is targeted towards one side of the political aisle which makes the viewing experience awkward for a left wing individual like myself.
Another thing I really didn’t like was the “Film Actors Guild” presented as F.A.G. and mentioned as “f*g”. That and several other jokes are extremely homophobic and sorry, but I don’t find that funny, maybe immature anti-gay frat boys think it’s funny but I do not. The puppets are very well designed and I really loved the visuals; very creative and interesting. I also liked that FOR THE MOST PART, the scatological/crude type humor was left out, but unfortunately a very unfunny barfing joke is presented and goes on for way too long. The characters are also fairly well done for this kind of film. It’s tough because the film is laid out well, there is some funny spoof comedy, and the visuals are well done, but the almost completely one sided political target on liberals is disappointing and left me feeling unclean.
When it comes to films like this, if you are offended by anything in it people, largely those on the right, will come for you and claim you’re a p****y who can’t take a joke. Well I’m sorry but I think there’s an issue with presenting a film as a ridiculous adult comedy then seeing it’s a huge lampooning of the left with recurring anti-gay jokes. While the visuals are creative and there are some laughs to be had, I can’t forgive the mountain of negative content and I just felt bad afterwards.
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