Drive-In Update: 10-20-04
Perverted Puppets Provide Political Point
PLUS: an Animated Double Bill

FREEDOM HANGS BY A THREAD 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 movie.
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 of non-conformity.

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.

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 Sucked"

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.