Freedom Isn’t Free

While clearly an uncompromising satire of post-9/11 American politics, Team America takes the worldwide political system to task for its absurdities. While “America, Fuck Yeah” steals headlines for its lyrical magic, skewering fervent, almost obsessive patriotism, the good gags drift under Team America’s surface.

When a UN investigator visits North Korea to look for WMDs – this before being eaten by Kim Jung Il’s sharks and a moving (but not really) musical number on loneliness – Kim Jung Il asks what the investigator will do if Il doesn’t comply. “We will write you a letter saying we’re very, very angry with you.” That line is delivered with the truthful absurdity needed to sell the joke. All of them are, actually.

Team America is one of the most stinging, lasting indictments on American political theater, from the title through to the movie’s execution

Team America isn’t an important film, but it might be the only one to truly replicate the broad mindset of the nation after the 9/11 attacks. The timing wasn’t fortuitous by any definition, but the speed in which Team America struck was unusual, doubly so considering the complexities of the production.

There’s no subtlety involved, while the brash, fearless humor drapes over a number of clever, observant gags. Introducing new countries to the story, on-screen text notes their distance and direction from the US, a sharp barb mocking those who couldn’t find the nations the US attacked on a map. The perspective is nothing short of, “We’re right and they’re wrong,” even as the characters traipse through lands littered with racially-leaning stereotypes, even down to the tiny details like croissants making up French streets.

Equally hilarious was the MPAA’s worry about a graphic puppet sex scene, amplifying Team America behind-the-scenes to point out the absurdity of worrying about genitalia-less plastic dolls versus the sheer amount of violence or gore.

Mocking the conservative military mindset and the hypocritical left (via the actor’s guild), Team America acts centered, but its point primarily takes potshots at the “war on terror,” its tenuous definition(s), and blind, reactionary politics. All who fed that contemporary conflict factor in, and the destruction caused by the team finds laughs in how other country’s suffered, while making its point about empty morals with literal rockets and explosions. It’s an absolute delight, and one of the most stinging, lasting indictments on American political theater, from the title through to the movie’s execution.

Video

A fresh new master greets viewers, giving Team America a naturally sharp touch. Fine detail on the puppets is visible, whether texture on the “skin” or hair. Even with the camera at distance, the miniature sets looks marvelously defined behind a thin, barely notable grain structure.

In Dolby Vision, the jump in brightness isn’t brilliant, but it’s increased over the Blu-ray. Highlights show life and appropriate intensity. Black levels look spectacular in their depth; all of the imagery does as a whole.

A stellar jump in color saturation gives the skin/plastic tones vividness. Reds and blues appear especially prominent and saturated, which feels appropriate. Overall however the color density impresses, no matter the hue.

Audio

Copying the DTS-HD 5.1 track from the Blu-ray, the mix sounds dated in the low-end, lacking in tightness and weight. It’s loud, that much is certain, but the deep, shaking rumble isn’t present.

On the other hand, surrounds engage regularly, giving the action significant spacing. Gunshots, missiles, helicopters, debris – it all sweeps around, flawlessly tracked.

Extras

Paramount includes the theatrical cut only on 4K. All bonuses, including the unrated cut, stay on the Blu-ray. While the disc lacks a commentary, the bonuses detail the creative process of this unique film, including one on pyrotechnics that’s lots of fun. There’s also a set of deleted scenes and outtakes that are worth watching.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Team America: World Police
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

A resoundingly successful satire of American culture, Team America: World Police doesn’t pull any punches in dissecting post-9/11 society.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 43 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:


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