Monday, October 18, 2004

Notes on Team America: World Police 

I'm somewhat at a loss for how to describe this movie. Most of the things I normally key in on in movies just don't apply this movie (like cinematography, directing, acting, and writing). Still, much like its (spiritual) predecessor, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, it's a brilliant film.

Some people, of course, won't be able to decide if they want to see this movie until they know whose side it's on. Given that it's really hard to pin the movie down on anything, that might, along with its R rating, explain why it opened third in the box office. I've seen some complain that the left is given a harder time by this movie, but I disagree. It's true that Bush and his advisors are entirely absent from the movie, but I can easily see it being the case that whoever greenlighted this movie didn't want to risk the box office consequences of cutting themselves off entirely from Bush supporters (after already cutting themselves off from people who don't think they want to watch marionettes, and people under 17). The criticism of the war on terror couldn't have been clearer or more piercing to me. The members of Team America talk like police on COPS might, showing up in helicopters with sirens on them, and blowing up much of major foreign cities in their bumbling pursuit of terrorists. Then after finally killing the terrorists (and razing much of, say, Paris), they stand around, waiting to be fawned over by the locals, who are about to do no such thing. You can't fail to pick up the idea that fighting terrorists through bombing cities largely effects third parties who have nothing to do with the two parties in actual conflict.

In any case, it's ridiculous to argue about who has it easier in this movie. No one who agrees with either extreme is going to declare the movie's verdict fair. Although I very much respect Parker and Stone's intelligence, and I respect the freedom comedy has to tell the truth, the much more important feature of this movie is that it's hilarious. It's the funniest movie I've seen in ages, and everyone in the audience obviously thought so too. The main character's final speech about the war on terror must be seen.

Update: I hate to admit I read cnn.com, but this article is related to some of the things I talked about above.

i hated thunderbirds when i was a kid due to the marionettes looking so damned freaky, and thus have certain reservations to subject myself to further watching more wooden puppets dance and walk about in a very disjointed fashion.

that, and i'm broke and can't afford to go see a film at ten bucks a person right now, anyways.
OK, so what's so bad about cnn.com?
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