Team America: World Police
Team America: World Police a 2004 film by "South Park" and "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut" (the latter being the pair's fist major-non Live-Action film offering, and forth overall) Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They made the film using a variation of the Supermarionation technique - which Stone jokingly calls supercrappymation - chiefly known from the 60s tv-show Thunderbirds.
Paris, France, 3635 Miles East of America
- [Paris is reduced to a smoldering pile of rubble.]
- Joe: Bonjour, everyone! Don't worry. Everything is bon! We stopped the terrorists.
Recruiting Gary Johnston
- Spottswoode: Gary, this is Lisa. She specializes in how the terrorists think.
- Lisa: Usually a case of malignant narcissism brought on during childhood.
- Spottswoode: We will disguise you as a terrorist and take you deep into the Middle East. If your acting is successful, you'll be able to get us all the information we need to stop this whole thing from happening. Of course, if you're not interested, there's the door.
- Gary: All right, thanks. [walks out the door]
- Spottswoode: Huh.
Hans Blix in Kim Jong-il's Palace
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) Hans Blix? Oh, no!
- Hans Blix: Let me look around, so I can ease the UN's collective mind.
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) Hans, you're breaking my balls here, Hans. You're breaking my balls!
- Hans Blix: I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me see your whole palace, or else...
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) Or else what?
- Hans Blix: Or else we will be very, very angry with you. And we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) Ok, I show you around. First, move to your left a little.
- [Blix moves]
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) A little more.
- [moves again]
- Kim Jong-il: Good!
- [opens trap door then walks to shark tank]
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) There you go, Hans Blix! How do you like that, you fucking cock-sucker?
- [watching a shark tear Blix apart]
- Kim Jong-il: (in English) Do you have any idea how fucking busy I am, Hans Blix? Well, fuck you! You want inspection? Well, inspect that, you butt-fucking piece of shit! What, do you think I'm just a petty arms dealer? I'm planning the attack! Congratulations, Team America. You have stopped nothing!
The Empire Strikes Back
- Spottswoode: Team, this is all my fault. I screwed up with Cairo... I let racism cloud my judgment... I was so sure the world's ultimate terrorist must be Middle Eastern that... I never suspected he was a God-damn gook. I'll never be racist again.
Dicks, Pussies, Assholes Speech
- Gary: We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong-ll is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes — assholes who just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is that sometimes they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate — and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies get so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are only an inch and a half away from assholes. I don't know much in this crazy, crazy world, but I do know that if you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!
Dialogue between Gary Johnson and terrorist
- Gary Johnston: Bak. Derk-derk-Allah. Durka durka Mohammed jihad. Haka sherpa sherpa bak Allah.
- Terrorist: Ahhh! Durka durka durka!
Film Actor's Guild
- Matt Damon: Matt Damon.
I'm So Ronery
- Kim Jong-il:
And so, I'm ronery
A rittle ronery
Poor rittle me
There's nobody I can rerate to
Feewr rike a bird in a cage
It's kinda sirry
But, not rearry
Because, it's fiwring my body with rage.
You Are Worthless
Note: This song is played near the end of the credits on the DVD. This has been confirmed on the UK PAL and the US NTSC DVD. It was also present in the theatrical release.
- Kim Jong-il:
You are worthress Arec Barrwin,
You are worthress Arec Barrwin,
You faired in evwy way and now my stock in you has farren,
Your career is starrin' and,
You're worthress Arec Barrwin,
That's why I brew your head off and your chirdren are arr bawrin.'
I got Balls
Gary: I Touched my balls hard. Twice. Voice of Cockroach: So long earth rings!!! [cockroach's spaceship blast off on galaxy]
About Team America: World Police
- Team America is incredible in how deftly it recontextualizes blockbuster action flicks likeThe Rock or Bad Boys. Inside each scene, you may have goofy characters or silly voices, but the structure of the film is, pace-for-pace, a blockbuster film. The scene structure, the staging, the set pieces - it's all a take on Michael Bay and his ilk. Because that is done so cleverly, you hardly even notice it, which gives Team America a time-tested foundation to build upon. Every scene has been rigorously tested with audience after audience, summer after summer.
- The whole movie has this sideways humor to it, almost begging you to think critically about it. It's as if Matt and Trey don't care at all, when every scene apathetically introduces more casual racism or ignorance ("Derka derka, Muhammad jihad", "Everyone has AIDS!", "So Ronery"), but the more you look at it, the more you realize just how much care it takes to SEEM that culturally insensitive. It's a lead; A trap. They want you to call the movie racist for X, so they can show you your own hypocrisy for not seeing, or being concerned with, Y. Which is exactly the point of the movie! Stop worrying so much about whatever YOUR hot-button issue is, and try to see how fucked up the whole of the issues are.
- 10796 as quoted in "Why Team America Suceeds As Satire Where The Interview Fails" by Lauren Davis, IO9, 12/26/14
- Their "Team America: World Police" is an equal opportunity offender, and waves of unease will flow over first one segment of their audience, and then another. Like a cocky teenager who's had a couple of drinks before the party, they don't have a plan for who they want to offend, only an intention to be as offensive as possible.
Opposing Team America is the Film Actors' Guild, or F.A.G., ho, ho, with puppets representing Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn (who has written an angry letter to Parker and Stone about their comments, in Rolling Stone, that there is “no shame” in not voting). No real point is made about the actors' activism; they exist in the movie essentially to be ridiculed for existing at all, I guess.
- I wasn't offended by the movie's content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides -- indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they're wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn't matter.
- Like The Interview, Team America isn't an overtly political film as much as a riposte to the silliness of both sides of an argument. In Team America, that means a fictionalised Kim Jong Il who is privately masterminding all of the world's terror campaigns, and a bunch of patriots on both ends of the American political spectrum, who take it on themselves to pass judgement on the rest of the planet.
Oh, and there's the added hilarity of the actors who starred in the film. The Motion Picture Association of America's rating still says it best- “Rated R for graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images, and strong language – all involving puppets.”
- The puppets themselves were provided by the Chiodo brothers, who also worked on Critters and Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and shot by cinematographer Bill Pope. Throughout production, Parker and Stone also underwent extensive reshoots to get every shot just right, paying more attention to detail. The result is gorgeously designed and shot, but Parker and Stone credit this as the hardest thing they ever did, leading them to rule out ever working with puppets again.
- Kim Jong-il was a noted cinephile who, according to CNN, amassed over 20,000 movies in his VHS collection, but he never commented on Team America publicly. It was naturally banned from North Korean cinemas and it was reported that they asked the Czech Repubic to do the same thing, to no avail. On the DVD extras for the film, Parker jokes that they would love to have him sing the character's theme if it got an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
- The biggest controversy that the film caused at the time was with the MPAA, whose backwards rating system had previously been lampooned by Parker and Stone in South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut. The infamous puppet sex scene between Gary and team-mate Lisa had to be submitted nine times before it could be passed with an R rating, rather than the prohibitive NC-17.
- In Kirby Dick's excellent documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Stone admitted: “We purposely left in stuff that we didn't even want in [the sex scene], cos you have to give them something to cut so they feel like they pissed on it somewhat. So, we put in every second we shot, a ridiculous 4 minute sex scene... just to push the line way back, so they'd cut to [where we want it]”
- Mark Harrison "Team America: World Police is Still Relevant", Den of Geek, (Feb 7, 2015).
- On top of unfavourable reviews, the White House declared Team America unpatriotic and Sean Penn was so offended by his puppet's depiction as the head of the fictitious Film Actors Guild (FAG) that he sent the filmmakers an irate letter.
- Staff and agencies, "Stone says Team America was 'lowest point'", The Guardian, (Fri 31 Dec 2004).
- It was the worst time of my entire life - I never want to see a puppet again. It ruined all the serious relationships in my life. You just become a different person, get completely stressed out and don't pay attention to anything else.
You work 20 hours a day, take sleeping pills to go to bed and drink coffee to stay up. You feel like a piece of s**t, none of your friends like you, your parents don't like you, but you have a movie at the end.
- Matt Stone in "Stone says Team America was 'lowest point'", Staff and agencies, The Guardian, (Fri 31 Dec 2004).