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Opinion

'Team America: World Police' 15 Year Anniversary

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Austin Bruns
October 15, 2019

Team America: World Police was one of the first major projects that co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker worked on after their success with South Park. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 15 years since Team America destroyed all of the popular monuments of Paris and saved the world from evil terrorists.


A comedy film about a super team of American soldiers infiltrating a terrorist group, using string puppets and lots of musical theatre, merely three years after the 9/11 attacks was something that only the modern-day kings of satire could pull off.


The movie primarily satirizes big budget action films, while also taking shots at Hollywood actors’ prominence in politics, and the role of the United States on the world stage.


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After re-watching the film, it’s pretty remarkable how ahead of its time the topics were, and how relevant the movie still is today. What else is to be expected from the guys who have been putting out great season after great season of South Park since 1997? Mostly though, Team America is just a hilariously absurd and fun-to-watch comedy.


The main character is Gary Johnston, whose background in Broadway acting and college degree in World Languages makes him the perfect candidate to be recruited by Team America to go undercover as a terrorist. He helps the team get intel, which appears to save the world from one terrorist group, but their intelligence was wrong. The guilt of the team’s failure becomes too much for Gary, and he decides that the responsibility of saving the world creates too much stress, so he vows to leave Team America for good.


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When the team, and his newfound love, Lisa, get captured by the real arch villain Kim Jong Il and the conspiratorial members of the “Film Actors Guild”, Gary gets back in the game, proves himself trustworthy (in a very unconventional way), and returns to North Korea to free the rest of Team America. They proceed to kick ass and rescue the world from Kim Jong and the Hollywood actors.


As Matt Stone and Trey Parker have continued their career, they have won seven Tony awards and two Grammy’s between them, as well as, a number of other notable awards. They’ve achieved global acclaim and were almost single-handedly responsible for the success of Comedy Central. For big fans of the duo, Team America: World Police will always hold a special place in our hearts.


What is your favorite scene in Team America: World Police? What Matt Stone / Trey Parker collaboration do you wish you could see next? Let us know in the comments!


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