The Shotgun Blog
Monday, October 25, 2004
Team America: Roger Ebert Is An Idiot
Roger Ebert gave this movie a single star. I can't say I'm surprised. This is a man who will undoubtedly place Michael Moore's discredited "documentary" on his Ten Best for 2004.
If I were asked to extract a political position from the movie, I'd be baffled. It is neither for nor against the war on terrorism, just dedicated to ridiculing those who wage it and those who oppose it. The White House gets a free pass, since the movie seems to think Team America makes its own policies without political direction.
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.
Were we watching the same film?
Sure, there were moments when the trigger happy "Team America" members went over the top, but you know, there was a certain "inanimate object" aspect to their "collateral damage" - the Eiffel Tower, the Sphinx...
But, were you out taking a p*** during the scene involving the terrorist bombing of the Panama Canal, Roger? Did you not notice how completely unfunny the movie suddenly became when those "dead" puppets were bobbing in the floodwaters?
Come to think of it, how did your review manage to omit mention of the left's cult-hero Michael Moore - a suicide bomber, inside Mount Rushmore? Certainly, that had to be one of the most politically charged "statements" of the film. Hans Blix, being torn to pieces in Kim Jong-il's shark tank - did you sleep through that or just close your eyes in horror?
Finally, the biggest hint of them all - how did it end, Roger? Who "saves the world" from destruction? Alex Baldwin? Sean "rivers of chocolate" Penn?
Team America is a funny, funny movie. The sex scenes would someday join those "moments in movie history" - if you could actually show them during a "moments in movie history" retrospective. This movie outragiously, gloriously slays all the sacred cows of the politically correct. Contrary to all prior warnings, I was never offended.
I left thinking that this movie was not at all what the reviewers would have you believe it is. It has one of the most deadly serious undercurrents of any "comedy" I've seen in a very long time. Maybe because of the absurdity, exaggeration and the bawdiness, that undercurrent is more easily avoided or overlooked, but for me, it was just driven home more starkly because of the contrast. Perhaps it's the fact that the stance taken by Parker and Stone - a vicious indictment of the left, of the entertainment industry and the cancer of anti-Americanism that infects and undermines the war on Islamic fascism - is so counter-Hollywood and so rare.
Go see this film.
(Don't take grandma.)
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I agree. Although the film makes fun of everyone and everything, its underlying message seems to be that, although cowboyish at times, America is doing the right thing by waging war against state sponsors of terror.
And yeah, the film is chock full of offensive language and contains a controversial sex scene, but it is hilarious and has a good message.
After reading non-establishment reviews, I decided to go watch it to support the cause. I'm glad I did, and I'll probably go again.
Posted by: Joel | 2004-10-25 1:21:21 PM
I would concur that the underlying message of the film was a good one and that it did have some brilliant moments. On the whole, however, I think the film was supposed to be humorous and as such did not live up to expectations. Much of the humour was just too obvious or forced. I do think it's worth seeing, if only for the depictions of Kim Jong Il, the Islamic terrorists and Hans Blix. I would give it three out of five stars.
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2004-10-25 5:26:48 PM
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