June 19, 2024


2004 / 97 & 98 min (Two Versions)
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😺

Considering the tumultuous times we currently live in, Team America: World Police has aged remarkably well. Not that it’s a timeless masterpiece or anything. At this point, one either already appreciates Trey Parker & Matt Stone’s button-pushing brand of humor or they don’t. 20 years later, nobody is likely going to reassess the artistic merits of this one.

But certain aspects of Team America might be funnier or more relevant today than back in 2004, namely the parts which ruthlessly skewer American jingoism. Just listen to the lyrics of its most hilarious song, “America, Fuck Yeah” (heard several times), to be reminded of idiots in the real world who would probably consider it an anthem (hopefully, you don't know any of them personally). 

The song also sets the tone for the film’s best running gag…in their ongoing, single-minded mission to rid the world of terrorism, the team always ends up causing far more mass destruction than the terrorists. And most of the world appears to hate them for it, including a crusading batch of celebrities (the story’s antagonists, along with Kim Jong II) with the impression that their own political views can save the world. 

The Robert Pattinson action figure.
Of course, much of the humor has always been the novelty of watching Thunderbirds-inspired marionettes doing all the killing, swearing, vomiting, and fornicating. Some of those crudities are still amusing, though arguably the one ingredient that has aged the worst. Not because of changing attitudes, but this kind of stuff isn’t nearly as shocking as it was back in the day. Ironically, it was Parker & Stone themselves who made animated adult antics more mainstream (just turn on Adult Swim any given night). 

One thing about Team America that’s often overlooked are its technical aspects. The puppets are wonderfully expressive creations, moving with strings among incredibly detailed miniature sets. The whole thing really does resemble an elaborate Thunderbirds episode, enhanced by some really impressive special effects (namely the scenes of mass destruction). Aesthetically, the film is a marvel just to look at. 

Speaking of which, all those visual details look great in 4K, while the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track is a good mix, effectively balancing the dialogue and sound effects. However, only the theatrical cut is in 4K. Those who prefer the unrated version - with its infamous uncut sex scene - will have to settle for the accompanying Blu-ray. There are also plenty of bonus features (outlined below), but none of them are new. This 20th Anniversary Edition is strictly for those wanting a technical upgrade.


R-RATED & UNRATED VERSIONS - Unrated version is on Blu-ray.

FEATURETTES - Team America: An Introduction; Building the World; Crafting the Puppets; Pulling the Strings; Capturing the Action; Miniature Pyrotechnics; Up Close with Kim Jong-II; Dressing Room Test; Puppet Test (most of these supplements are related to the technical aspects of the film).



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