Sunday, October 10, 2004

"They've Got You By Their Strings Again Tonight... quick to find that dollar in the sky." - Rufio

Team America was a disappointment. The trailers looked great, it had potential for a ton of humor, it's by the South Park guys! How could it be just ho-hum?

They rushed this thing to theaters.

First of all, the marionette work is just awesome. It's amazing how it's done. And when the film pokes fun at the limitations of the puppets (i.e. a puppet's "regular" face from its "serious" face [no distinction]; trying to get two puppets to look like their kissing when all they're doing is butting faces), it's downright hilarious. And I'll just say it. That stuff is funnier than the plot jokes itself.

But the movie has nowhere near the amount of sheer laughs as the 1999 film South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. In fact, the jokes here are way too far and in between. It's one of those films where you can pick out the 5 or 6 times you truly laughed and the other times you just kinda smiled because you knew it was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't.

One of my favorite gags was at the beginning. They do a sweeping shot of Times Square and land on a billboard for the Broadway show Lease: The Musical. Then we see the show's final number in which all the characters sing about how everyone has AIDS. So hilarious.

But there are not enough bust-your-gut jokes. And there are at least two recurring jokes that beg the question "Why go for this laugh again???"

There are also a lot of emotional parts in the film, which is kinda funny seeing it come from puppets. But it makes it uncomfortable since you don't know whether you should laugh or not.

Well, I guess I was just expecting a lot more laughs and fun out of this movie. The movie does boast a lot of fun action sequences and a good analogy on war, but it just wasn't as entertaining as it should have been.

Giving the movie 2 1/2 stars,

Ricky Roeper