IS A WORK IN PROGRESS!!!
Drive-In Update: 10-20-04
Perverted Puppets Provide Political Point
PLUS: an Animated Double Bill
The creators of South
Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are back on the big screen and they've
turned up the OFFEND-O-METER to 11.
TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE is crude, junvenile and vulgar.
It is also one of the funniest satires in a while.
Before you buy your ticket take the following test:
If SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, UN-CUT was too much for you, avoid this
If the thought of the longest prolonged vomit scene since MONTY PYTHON'S
THE MEANING OF LIFE makes you queasy, avoid this movie.
If you have a problem with Tarantino-esque eruptions of blood and gore
spurting from marionettes, avoid this movie.
If you are turned off by the thought of more profanity, homophobic rants
and dick-and-fart jokes than a Jason Mewes monologue in a Kevin Smith film,
avoid this movie.
If you can get offended by a really, really kinky puppet show
(as close to hardcore X as you can get with no genitalia)...get a life...and
avoid this movie.
If, however, you can see this as a piece of satire that rips into the
flag-waving, drum-beating hawkish right as well as the smug, self-important,
"we-know-what's-best-for-you" left, that points out what narrow-minded,
arrogant bastards BOTH sides are, then you might enjoy this film.
The cartoonishly simple-minded purveyours of mayhem.
Ridiculous, warm-and-fuzzy facists who demand all conform to their ideals
The plot is pretty standard for jingoistic actioner that usually surfaces
briefly in the megaplex before landing on the video store shelves. Something
with either a washed-out athlete or Casper Van Dein in the lead role.
- STEP ONE: Introduce
The TEAM: handsome professionals as adept with snappy one-liners as they
are with weapons, you've got your Quarterback, your Hothead Bad-Ass, your
Red-Shirt, your Warrior Princess and of course the Hot Chick to eventually
serve as Hero's love interest. This is also where you introduce the Bad
Guys (in this reign of George the 2nd those would be terrorists.)
- STEP TWO: Introduce
HERO, who has a special talent the Team needs (in this case: Acting!).
- STEP THREE:
THE FIRST MISSION: Usually screwed up by the Hero, which leads to...
- STEP FOUR:
SELF DOUBT: Bickering, in-fighting, copious amounts of self-destructive
behavior and the Hero walks out.
- STEP FIVE:
PEP TALK: Nothing revives a Hero's flagging morale like an uplifting speech
from an idol (see Lance Armstrong in DODGEBALL), a little nookie from the
Hot Chick or in this case a profanity laced sermon from a drunken bum followed
the aforementioned projectile vomiting.
- STEP SIX: MONTAGE
as the Hero gains the real skills to become a benefit to the team, usually
to a guitar rock anthem.
- STEP SEVEN:
REUNION: In which the Team reaccepts the Hero and they all proceed to mop
the floor with the bad guys' minions (in this case Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins
and the rest of the Film Actor's Guild) before...
- STEP EIGHT:
THE FINAL SHOWDOWN - Where the Hero, motivated by his desire for the Hot
Chick and paraphrased rememberances of the PEP TALK, uses his Special Talent
to utter thwart the villains masterplan. Key items for this stage are having
the Hot Girl a prisioner of the villian, the ubiquitous Master Plan Countdown
Clock™. Multiple Mastermind Villain deaths are an option.
The music is well done. Of particular note was Kim Jong Il's mornful
number "I'm So Ronery" and the stealth humor of "Montage." However, the
most inspired bit of music has to be "I Miss You More Than Pearl Harbor
There are a couple of broad swipes at THE MATRIX, and STAR WARS, Including
a cantina band that sounds just enough NOT like the one in Mos Eisley to
avoid a possible lawsuit.
My main fear is the slack-jawed yokels, and well-dressed urbanites,
who fail to see the parody and take the overblown gung-ho rhetoric, epitomized
in the song "America, F**K Yeah!", as gospel.