Team America: World Police is not only an epic July 4 film, but also one of the greatest holiday movies of all time. Screenshot from a YouTube video courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone’s dark comedy Team America: World Police and its “unique” use of puppets — more about that in a minute — wasn’t exactly a rousing box office success. It only netted about $51 million worldwide in box office revenue. However, on this Independence Day weekend, as we gather in the spirit of ‘Merica (f*ck yeah!), we should all consider that Team America: World Police is actually a puppet-driven patriotic masterpiece that should be viewed every Fourth of July — as much a part of this great holiday as Die Hard is at Christmas.
While some might counter that puppet sex is gratuitous or that repeatedly mocking Matt Damon is in poor taste — well, those folks are correct. Puppet sex is gross and Matt Damon is a national treasure, but crude jokes and mean humor are as American as cold beer and apple pie.
Here are three elements of the movie that should make you want to drape yourself in Old Glory, chug a cheap domestic, and celebrate the heck out of America’s birthday:
The only logical place to start is Team America’s theme song. What’s not to like? It opens triumphantly, celebrating through voice the beauty of our great nation, and then it gets down to MF’in business, just like Uncle Sam. Quite simply, if this isn’t blasting on your speakers at some point on the Fourth, you’re wrong.
Few things make a flick more immortal in American cinema than a legendary catchphrase. Fear not — Team America has that base covered like your drunk uncle at a family softball game. Included are epic one-liners such as, “Hey terrorists, terrorize THIS” and “You, LOSE” that place Team America’s definitive utterances alongside The Terminator’s “I’ll be back” or 300‘s “This is SPARTA.” And, of course, finishing every thought with “F*ck yeah.”
Finally, is there anything more American than an epic car chase? From Dirty Harry to OJ Simpson and his white Ford Bronco’s low-speed drag race down I-5 in California to The Fast and the Furious, America loves a good car chase. Team America not only has a car chase but one set to an epic soundtrack, filled with one-liners, and occurring at epic speeds — well, at least for puppets.
James Webb served as a US Marine infantryman from 2005 to 2010, completing a combat tour in Iraq. He’s worked as a freelance writer and photojournalist covering US troops in Afghanistan, and Webb spent more than two years in the US Senate as a military legislative assistant and as the personal representative of a member on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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