It's Movie Time
Thu October 14, 2004
Team America: World Police
Effective satire where no one escapes.
By John DeSando, WCBE's
The creators of ?South Park? have fashioned the best political satire of this political season, ?Team America: World Police,? done with marionettes, strings and all. And that?s factoring in the considerable heft of ?Fahrenheit 9/11? and its heavyweight director, Michael Moore. In fact, director Trey Parker skewers hot-dog ?devouring Moore by calling him ?a giant socialist weasel.? Along with a horde of Hollywood liberals lampooned for their election year politics, Jerry Bruckheimer and Roland Emmerich suffer ridicule for their testosterone epics like ?Armageddon? and ?Day After Tomorrow.? It?s funny stuff regardless of your politics.
When the film breaks into a song called ?Pearl Harbor Sucked? (the film, that is), I knew I was witnessing satire that has no bounds, and right I was. The James Bond-like villain, the source of the US?s terrorist suffering, is a Kim Jong Il knockoff so spot-on as to lead to an immediate suspicion that the diminutive tyrant is behind the present US challenges around the globe. The emphasis on his inability to pronounce ?l?s? mocks the U.S.?s own xenophobia.
When the gung-ho Team, under the theme song ?America, F--k Yeah!? destroys world ?class monuments like the Louvre, Egyptian pyramids, and the Eiffel Tower with misguided missiles, neocons can squirm as well in their seats. As well, the sex scene between 2 puppets is hilarious, even with its being cut to avoid NC-17 status. No subject is sacred to these creative satirists.
"We hate those actors who take themselves so seriously and think they are a productive and important part of society," Parker said. "The subtle joke here is that all actors are puppets.? Thus begins the elaborate satire of liberals like Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and Susan Sarandon, to name only a few. They all belong to the Film Actor?s Guild, whose acronym F.A.G. is inspired parody. When Jong sings under the closing credits, ?You are worthless, Alec Baldwin,? even liberals have to smile at the wisdom. That?s effective satire where no one escapes.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time," which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com.