Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
Renegade satirists Trey Parker and Matt Stone are songsmiths at heart. Why else would the South Park creators paint a wide swatch of blue across the Great White Way with a full-fledged Mormon-mocking musical?
Yes, 2004’s Team America: World Police shrewdly, scathingly spoofed the jarhead action of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay — giving full blockbuster treatment to a film featuring marionettes. (If not Bay, America seems to have shamed Bruckheimer out of that genre altogether.)
But such films are nothing without crappy songs, with which America is purposefully chockablock. Highlights of Parker’s on-point lyrical work include: “Freedom Isn’t Free,” a send-up of opportunistic flag-waving country tunes; “Only a Woman,” re-envisioning Top Gun’s sex scene with golden showers and Cleveland steamers; and the infinitely self-explanatory “America, Fuck Yeah!”
Team America are commandos combating the plot of “9/11 times 2,356” hatched by North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, actor Alec Baldwin and the Film Actors Guild — which includes Helen Hunt, Susan Sarandon and a Matt Damon marionette incapable of uttering anything besides his own name.
Vacancy in the marionettes’ eyes differs little from, say, Megan Fox’s, and throwaway perspective gags (goldfish swimming beside a submarine) add to Parker and Stone’s absurd, but sensible, string-yanking of the action genre.
Throw in a mélange of al-Qaeda terrorist gibberish (with the occasionally surfacing words “Muhammed,” “jihad” and “Allah” all Hollywood often hears anyway) and semi-sensible anatomical analogies for foreign policy, and it’s clear America rowdily resurrected the Zucker Brothers’ spirit of peerless, puerile genre satire.