Team America: World Police is a 2004 American-German satirical action comedy film starring puppets produced by Scott Rudin, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker, written by Parker, Stone and Pam Brady and directed by Parker, all of whom are also known for the popular animated television series South Park. The film stars Parker, Stone, Kristen Miller, Masasa Moyo, Daran Norris, Phil Hendrie, Maurice LaMarche, Chelsea Marguerite, Jeremy Shada, and Fred Tatasciore, and is a satire of big-budget action films and their associated clichésand stereotypes, with particular humorous emphasis on the global implications of the politics of the United States. The title is derived from domestic and international political criticisms that the foreign policy of the United States frequently and unilaterally tries to "police the world". Featuring a cast of supermarionettes, Team America depicts a paramilitary police known as "Team America: World Police", who attempt to save the world from a terrorist plot led by Kim Jong-il.
The use of marionettes instead of actors in an action film is a reference to Thunderbirds, a popular 1960s British television show, 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 film had a troubled time in production, with various problems regarding the marionettes, as well as the scheduling extremes of having the film come out in time. In addition, the filmmakers fought with the Motion Picture Association of America, who returned the film over nine times with an NC-17 rating. The film was recut by a few seconds and rated R for "graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language - all involving puppets".
The film premiered at the Denver Film Festival on October 14, 2004, and was released theatrically in the United States the following day on October 15, 2004 by Paramount Pictures. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and grossed over $52.1 million worldwide against its $32 million budget
Team America, a paramilitary antiterrorism force, eliminates a gang of terrorists in Paris, destroying the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre in the process. The team comprises Lisa, a young psychologist; Carson, her love interest; Sarah, a psychic; Joe, a jock who is in love with Sarah; and Chris, a martial arts expert who harbors a deep hatred of actors. Carson proposes to Lisa, but a surviving terrorist shoots him dead.
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 Kim Jong-il is supplying international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. Gary infiltrates a terrorist group in Cairo, Egypt, and the team kills the terrorists. However, the city is left in ruins, drawing criticism from the Film Actors Guild, a union of liberal Hollywood actors led by Alec Baldwin.
At the base, Gary tells Lisa that, as a child, his acting talent caused his brother to be killed by gorillas. While the two grow close and have sex, terrorists blow up the Panama Canal as retaliation for Cairo, which the Film Actors Guild blames on Team America. Gary, feeling his acting talents have again resulted in tragedy, leaves Team America. The remaining members depart for the Middle East, but are captured by North Korean forces. In North Korea, Kim invites the Film Actors Guild and world leaders to a peace ceremony, planning to detonate a series of bombs while they are distracted.
Succumbing to depression, Gary is reminded of his responsibility by a speech from a drunken drifter. Returning to the team's base, he finds Spottswoode has survived a suicide bomb attack by Michael Moore. After regaining Spottswoode's trust by giving him a blowjob and undergoing one-day training, Gary goes to North Korea, where he uses his acting skills to infiltrate the base and free the team. They engage in a fight with the Film Actors Guild in which most of the actors are killed.
After Gary uses his acting skills to save Chris's life, Chris confesses to Gary that he hates actors because when he was 19 years old, he was raped by the cast of the musical Cats. Gary goes on stage and convinces the world's leaders to unite using the drifter's speech. Kim kills Baldwin and is kicked over a balcony by Lisa. He is impaled on a Pickelhaube and is revealed to be an alien cockroach, which flees in a spaceship, promising to return. As Gary and Lisa begin a relationship, the team reunites, preparing to combat the world's terrorists.
- Trey Parker as Gary Johnston, Joe Smith, Carson, Kim Jong Il, Hans Blix, Matt Damon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Helen Hunt, Susan Sarandon, Drunk in Bar, Additional Voices
- Matt Stone as Chris, George Clooney, Danny Glover, Ethan Hawke, Additional voices
- Kristen Miller as Lisa Jones
- Skyler Stone as Chris Kessler
- Masasa Moyo as Sarah Wong
- Daran Norris as Spottswoode
- Phil Hendrie as I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E., Chechen Terrorist
- Maurice LaMarche as Alec Baldwin
- Chelsea Marguerite as French Mother
- Jeremy Shada as Jean Francois
- Fred Tatasciore as Samuel L. Jackson
- Victor Yerrid as Abdul Malik