Team America: World Police (12A)

Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Directed by Trey Parker
On general release (not FACT) from 14th January 2005

Reviewed by Adam Ford

What do you get when you mix Thunderbirds with the 'war on terror'? Why, Team America: World Police of course! And just what kind of minds could give birth to such an outrageous, insensitive creation? None other than the creators of the outrageous, insensitive South Park. If you're a fan of that show, you know what to expect: crude animation and cruder, politically incorrect humour. Fantastic! If you don’t like South Park, you probably shouldn’t rush to see this, unless you like being offended, that is.

The main idea seems to be that the United States sees everything as an action movie, so Trey Parker and Matt Stone parody both this perception and the action movie genre itself. There are plenty of explosions, predictable romances and ridiculous fight scenes as the 'heroic' team fight to save the world from Al-Qaeda type terrorists and their unlikely 'axis of evil' partner, North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Along the way the Eiffel Tower is destroyed, the Valley of the Kings is reduced to rubble, and there's a lot of puking.

If you're looking for a reasoned, astute political satire then don't look to the creators of Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo. Parker and Stone have made a lot of money by skewering the self-important and pompous, making millions of people laugh in the process. In this case, they seem to hate the war-mongering right and the wishy-washy liberal left in just about equal measure. It's not big, it's not clever, but it is very funny.