War is a farce that gives us meaning

We’re the cops of the world in the new film by the creators of “South Park”

Claire Joseph

Weapons of mass destruction have launched wars and ended them. Now, they’re fodder for two of Hollywood’s most controversial animators.

In “Team America: World Police,” the creators of the hit comedy series “South Park” are at it again, this time using puppets as their main characters.

As always, Matt Stone and Trey Parker straddle the line between satire and immorality.

The satirists bank on their reputations as successful producers of comedic parody to provide commentary on their views of U.S. foreign policy actions.

They might have taken their agenda too far.

Although the main point of the film revolves around the current problems in Iraq, other topics like homosexuality, mental disabilities and ethnic diversity are treated irreverently as well.

Team America is an anti-terrorist group organized to protect the world from weapons of mass destruction.

Intelligence, a lackadaisical computer, is portrayed in a sort of dreary, “I’ve-seen-better-days” tone. The computer stands in for the U.S. spy bureaucracy, sometimes correctly and sometimes mistakenly informing the group of future terrorist attacks.

Spottswoode, the leader of Team America, sends the easily swayed group off to Intelligence’s next predicted point of attack.

Even though they are fighting terrorists and helping the world, the team members cause extensive damage along the way.

The group turns Paris and Cairo, Egypt into ruins while it battles terrorists.

Although the film suggests the absurdity of destroying a city in search of peace, “Team America: World Police” does not strictly condemn war.

When Gary decides to turn away from the group and quits Team America, his conscience disturbs him. He visits monuments of heroic fighters and realizes the importance of defending the world.

Eventually the team winds up in the palace of Kim Jong II, dictator of North Korea, and is faced with having to stop his extensive plan to destroy the entire world. The satire is spoiled somewhat by Parker and Stone’s use of ethnic caricatures for world leaders.

The filmmakers lose some credibility for their critique with these forays into offensiveness. In film, as in war, good intentions don’t always produce the best results.

“Team America: World Police”
Directed by: Trey Parker
Starring: Trey Parker (voice) and Matt Stone (voice)
Rated: R
Now showing at area theaters