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Profane puppets make a point

Dan Thomas

At this point, you probably know what you’re going to think about “Team America: World Police” since it came from Colorado’s own Trey Parker and Matt Stone.The same litany that applies to the idiot-savant filmmakers’ flagship franchise, “South Park” (especially the R-rated movie version) holds true for “Team America”: offensive, juvenile, technically primitive, in exceedingly poor taste, profane, politically incorrect, gross, crude, absurd, mean-spirited, hysterically funny, evenhanded, intelligent and surprisingly poignant – applies for “Team America.”In fact, “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” is probably a better litmus test than point-checking any issues that might offend potential viewers because it shows how Parker and Stone flout good taste and challenge the limits of the “R” rating. “Team America” well might exceed the benchmark the “South Park” movie set – 399 profane words (including 146 f-bombs), 128 offensive gestures and 221 acts of violence, according to the Internet Movie Database. And instead of depicting Saddam Hussein in a homosexual relationship with Satan, “Team America” reduces North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il to a one-note Asian caricature who pronounces his l’s as r’s (and we wonder why the rest of the world hates us).But people watch what Stone and Parker produce for more reasons than seeing how much righteous indignation they can cultivate.If, like Kimberly, you considered the toothless “Shark Tale” a parody, “Team America” is a satirical fusillade that obliterates meatheaded jingoism, touchy-feely internationalism, Broadway and Hollywood with sociopathic glee.Because it’s not heavy-handed by Hollywood standards – and because it’s easy to lose a somewhat subtle message about international politics and interpersonal relations in puppet porn, profanity and violence – it’s easy to underestimate what “Team America” is saying. And to me, the message, which involves three words that would get me fired from this newspaper, probably makes more sense than the one I gleaned from Moore and “Fahrenheit 9/11” that the answer to the world’s problems lies in more bickering between political partiesBut you probably already knew that.


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