Blogs > Liberty and Power > "Team America": Mixed Feelings

Oct 23, 2004 8:14 pm

"Team America": Mixed Feelings

I just saw"Team America" and came away with mixed feelings. Some moments were truly inspired. The Kim Jong-il character was brilliant. The"fuck you" jokes got a little old after awhile.

Some libertarian and conservative bloggers have claimed that"Team America" pokes fun equally at"both sides." They point to the scenes in which Team America in its fight against terrorists mistakenly destroy various monuments such as the Eifle Tower and Sphinx. This claim does not hold water. The general impression left behind by these scenes of mayhem and destruction is not so much to call into question imperialist arrogance as it is to convey the message that serving a greater good will sometimes lead to unavoidable collateral damage.

In truth, the movie is extremely one-sided in its humor. It is weighed heavily against the anti-war left. Nearly all the"real people" depicted (all unfavorably) as puppets are in this category: Michael Moore, Peter Jennings, Alec Baldwin, and various Hollywood types. Pro-war conservative puppets, such as Coulter, Rumsfeld, Rush, Bill O'Reilly (now that would be funny!) are nowhere to be seen.

One sided humor is fine with me if it is funny but in"Team America" it often falls flat. I am no fan of Michael Moore but is it really believable to depict him as mindless suicide bomber? I suspect that many conservative fans of the film would feel differently if Rush or Coulter were cast in similar roles.

Still,"Team America" is worth watching and is often hilarious and I recommend seeing it. But don't expect to see a film that is an equal opportunity offender. Then again, perhaps I am taking it all too seriously.

For a nuanced critique of"Team America" that makes some of the same points, see Shawn Macomber in (of all places!) the American Spectator. Alina Stefanescu was also disappointed by much of the film. I am curious to hear why.

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M.D. Fulwiler - 10/24/2004

I also laughed a lot during the movie, but it could have/should have been much better. Still, the sex scene and the "panthers" just about had me wetting my pants!