Tuesday, July 19, 2005
another movie to avoid
However, the reason it is not very good is nothing to do with the above. It is because "Team America" is obviously a parody of "Thunderbirds" and not only is "Thunderbirds" vastly better to start with, it is also a parody of itself at the same time as being itself, already. There is nothing clever about parodying "Thunderbirds". It requires as much cleverness to parody "Thunderbirds" as it does to kick a bunny rabbit. Especially if you take all the old Gerry Anderson shows, including "Stingray", "Captain Scarlet" and the one with the spinning boy at the beginning, it is far funnier than "Team America" and with better special effects. For instance, the old man in charge of the Thunderbird family, he is always telling them to go and risk their lives for no apparent reason just because it is necessary. They are not gung ho like the America team, they do not know why they are risking their lives at all, it is not even to stop terrorism or be patriotic, it is because their dad is a nutcase who set up a big island full of flash machines that fly and he wants to use them, and they do not have the courage to just say no. They do not ask, "Why do not the governments of the world save people instead of just our family?" or "Why do you not advertise these jobs and pay people to do them properly, instead of making your kids do everything dangerous while you sit at home watching?" If you have seen "Thunderbirds", the America team actually seem really intelligent by comparison, which is surely not the desired effect. At least they were asked if they wanted their own jobs.
Then in "Stingray" there is a song at the end, where the singing man sings "Maria, why don't you whisper the words I've been longing to hear?" which is funny, because the Marina character in the show cannot whisper any words of love to the Stingray hero she is in love with, because she is half-fish and cannot speak. She is dumb. She can only play the piano. Then there is Lady Penelope and Parker, they are extremely funny as Parker is a criminal alcoholic but you have to look out for that. So basically, it is not clever or funny of the writers of "Team America" to show us that puppets cannot have sex as they do not have genitals, merely obvious.
Do not bother with "Team America", just watch "Thunderbirds", it is a far more hilarious examination of ludicrously over-the-top misguided American do-goodery plus they have proper gadgets instead of just a computer. The fact that "Thunderbirds" failed to predict computers is one of the best things about it, and a parody that fails even to notice this is not worth its salt. Copious amounts of puppet-vomiting does not cover up the mistake.