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Team America is often silly, tasteless
Arthur J Pais |
October 18, 2004 15:25 IST
It doesn't long to figure out that Team America: World Police wants to skewer politicians and activists of all hues. There are no sacred cows in this fast moving political satire, though Hollywood's leftists get the worst hits.
The movie is often silly, mostly tasteless and goes over the top. Still, the puppet adventure film offers quite a few good chuckles and visual excitement. To the two million fans watching it over the weekend and making it the third highest grossing film in America, it must have produced a filthy dose of laughter.
Hollywood Liberals, including Michael Moore portrayed as a suicide bomber, are not the only ones slapped in the movie. Jerry Bruckheimer, the very Republican Hollywood producer, known for his big budget hits is also ridiculed.
The outrageously graphic puppet-sex scenes in Team America are not for the faint of heart. The writers are proud to call it inspired by the Kama Sutra. The original was reportedly far more explicit but had to be toned down so the film could get an R-rating.
The cast includes puppets that play the 'world police' and equivalents for actors such as Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and Alec Baldwin.
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A world peace summit is called by North Korean dictator Kim Jong II. While Baldwin, the president of the Film Actors Guild, is talking about spreading peace, Kim is all set to nuke his enemies. But the world police, the crazy band of American commandos, are determined to sabotage Kim's plan.
While Liberals might hate to see the likes of Michael Moore being humiliated, the consistently irreverent film has no affection for the American commandos. So ineffective are the Americans that they end up blowing up the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre in their pursuit of Arab terrorists.
The Americans also target Arabs in a country called Durkadurkastan to stop terrorism. Even in a film that swears against political correctness, the scenes involving Arabs are quite offensive and overdone.
When one of the all-American heroes in the world police team is killed, its leader Spotswoode recruits Broadway thespian Gary Johnston, then starring in an AIDS-musical called Lease. Spotswoode wants Johnston to use his acting talent to infiltrate the terrorist network.
'Anybody know of any terrorist attacks coming up soon?' Johnston asks, once he has waded through a terrorist barrier. Promptly the Sphinx and Pyramids are destroyed.
The film makes good use of music, again in a crude way, to raise a few silly laughs. Bruckheimer and his favourite director Michael Bay will not want to see this film unless they have a warped sense of humor.
One of the big numbers in the movie declares: 'I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark in Pearl Harbour. I need you more than Ben Affleck needs acting lessons.'
Amidst all the vulgarity and low comedy, do not fail to notice the sets crafted by David Rockwell and intriguing lighting that helps cinematographer Bill Pope (The Matrix) give the film an unusual look.