Team America: World Police (2004) was directed by Trey Parker and written by Parker, Matt Stone, and Pam Brady, all of whom are also known for the popular animated television series South Park. Starring Parker, Stone, Kristen Miller, Masasa, Daran Norris, Phil Hendrie, Maurice LaMarche, Chelsea Marguerite, Jeremy Shada, and Fred Tatasciore.

Instead of live actors, the film uses a style of puppetry based on Supermarionation, known for its use in the British TV series Thunderbirds, although Stone and Parker were not fans of that show. The duo worked on the script with former South Park writer Brady for nearly two years.

The plot is like a collision at the screenplay factory between several half-baked world-in-crisis movies. Team America, a group not unlike the Thunderbirds, bases its rockets, jets, and helicopters inside Mount Rushmore, which is hollow, and race off to battle terrorism wherever it is suspected.

It all begins when North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il (Trey Parker) orchestrates a global terrorist plot and it’s up to the heavily armed marionettes of the highly specialized Team America unit to stop his dastardly scheme.

The group, which includes the thespian-averse technology expert Chris (Matt Stone), not only has to face off against Jong-il, but they must also contend with F.A.G., the Film Actors Guild, a cadre of Hollywood liberals at odds with Team America’s “policing the world” tactics.

Team America leader Spottswoode brings Broadway actor Gary Johnston to Team America’s base in Mount Rushmore and asks him to use his acting skills to infiltrate a terrorist cell. Unbeknownst to the team, North Korean dictator and gangster Kim Jong-il is supplying international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

After the rest of the team is captured by Kim, Gary is their only hope. That’s the context. Gary, who is a puppet, hits all the traditional notes in this montage: He runs on a treadmill, practices firing an automatic weapon, and spars with a more experienced soldier in a dojo. If you’re going to storm Kim Jong-il’s palace single-handed, we have to make you a complete soldier in very little time and definitely a good reason for a training montage.

The Song “Montage” by Team America and South Park wizard Trey Parker really nails the ’80s action vibe with its synths and crunchy lead guitar, and it’s extremely meta in a way that’s funny but not overly clever.

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The day is approaching to give it your best
You’ve got to reach your prime!
That’s when you need to put yourself to the test
And show us the passage of time

We’re gonna need a montage (Montage)
A sports-training montage (Montage)

And just show a lot of things happenin’ at once.
Remind everyone of what’s goin’ on. (What’s goin’ on?)
And with every shot, show a little improvement
To show it won’t take too long

That’s called a montage (Montage)
Even Rocky had a montage (Montage)

In any sport, if you want to go
From just a beginner to a pro
You’ll need a montage (Montage)
a simple little montage (Montage)

The Training Montage Scene in Team America: World Police (2004)

7.5

Movie

6.5/10

The Training Montage

8.5/10

Overall

7.5/10

We like:

  • That it's a unique satire in it's presentation
  • It's gleefully vicious, staggeringly non-PC attacks on America's right, left and center