Monday, October 18, 2004
Unintentionally funny movie review of the week.
David Edelstein's review of "Team America, World Police" in Slate, is pretty much summed up with his lead, "The puppets of Team America skewer the right. If only they'd stopped there".
He does enjoy the bit where the Team "ends up incinerating the Louvre to keep a terrorist from detonating a bomb inside: a nice jab at the blow-'em-up-to-save-'em school of occupation." That's funny.
But when it comes to having leftist actors pal up to Kim Jong-il, that's not so funny because it's not realistic: "Leftist actors learned from Vietnam not to cozy up to dictators: Jane Fonda, one of the best actresses of her generation, hasn't worked in more than a decade."
So let's get this straight: he's actually saying that leftist actors don't publicly cozy up to murderous dictators because they've learned it's bad for their careers. While other people might not cozy up to murderous dictators for, say, other reasons.
Hey, Parker & Stone should have put that in the movie -- it's funny and realistic. And it would've answered Edelstein's complaint about the humor being sapped by lack of realism: "Sorry, boys: This just isn't very incisive left-bashing."
It's a good thing for the movie that "incinerating the Louvre" (and destroying Eiffel Tower, Pyramids and Sphinx) is realistic enough criticism of the right for there to be no complaint about any lack of funny incisive bashing there!
Meanwhile, Roger Ebert in his review clearly feels sympathy pangs for the skewered innocents of Hollywood and rather misrepresents an exchange between Sean Penn, one of them, and Parker & Stone, stating that Penn "has written an angry letter to Parker and Stone about their comment ... that there is 'no shame' in not voting". What this has to do with reviewing the movie I don't know -- except to give a picture of the real Penn as a good citizen giving a basic civics lesson to the miscreants who lampooned him.
However, as Ebert surely knows, the actual exchange went as reported earlier here (3rd item)-- with Sean's own words giving a picture of him as a guy who's well-earned his role as a marionette.
BTW, Ebert gives the movie one star while his readers give it three-and-a-half. Does the big guy just not have a sense of humor? You decide.