'About as far from 'Pinocchio' as you can get

Team America: World Police' -- R

Ever see a marionette dance and drink cocktails, or fight terrorists with missile launchers? Ever see a marionette slowly wallow in its own vomit, or slice a ridiculously created Helen Hunt?

Well, if you've seen "Team America: World Police," the answer is yes.

"Team America," directed by Trey Parker, who created "South Park" with Matt Stone, who produced the film, (both are credited as screenwriters), not only shocks the viewer by what they are doing to toys, but also raises a few questions, and laughs, about the war on terror.

In the fight is Team America (symbolizing the patriotic, flag-waving Americans), the Film Actors Guild (fighters for peace, led by Alec Baldwin and including celebrities that have made statements against the war in Iraq) and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il (who's planning mass destruction).


Team America recruits reluctant hero and Broadway star Gary Johnston to help America spy on the terrorists. When the team is captured, Gary (voiced by Parker) will do anything to rescue them, of course. And anything means anything.

Even though the story might seem a bit cliché,; it's meant to be. It's part of the joke. "Team America" mocks the hundreds of clichéd; action movies that have bland stories and characters. None are safe. Not "Star Wars," "Kill Bill" or "Pearl Harbor," which is highlighted in the soundtrack song, "Pearl Harbor Sucked, and I Miss You."

The soundtrack plays an important role in the film's attempt to shock. There's the spoof on "Rent," where the closing song, "Everyone's Dying from AIDS," has all the cheer of the Broadway musical, and, of course, Kim Jong Il's solo about how lonely he is, among others.

If you like in-your-face satire, chances are you'll like "Team America." Besides, it's groundbreaking -- it's; the first puppet movie to get an R rating.

Max Arnzen is a senior at John Marshall High School and a post-secondary education option student at Rochester Community &; Technical College. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336) or send e-mail to

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