South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut

Reviewed By Erik Childress
Posted 02/15/00 18:32:26

"The Best Satire and Musical In Years"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (**** Ĺ) Ė The South Park feature film could have been just another attempt by Hollywood comedies to further push the line on how far you can go for a laugh Ė a line raised last summer the minute we saw the aftermath of Ben Stiller flogging the dolphin. Instead itís a film that violently shoves the line while giving us an intelligent thought-provoking satire.

There are several moments during this film that will cause your mouth to drop Ė things said and things seen. I donít think Iíve been caught off guard so many times during a comedy before. Those who regularly watch the TV show will be more prepared than the virgin ears who might go just on word-of-mouth alone. And what words you will hear from the mouths of these young babes. One of the funnier parts of the TV show were the bleeped out swear words. We obviously know what they say, but outside of Jerry Springer, no prime-time show takes as many chances or say as many and as often risque things as South Park. The feature film has no bleeps and thatís a good thing for several reasons. For one, weíd miss have the things said in the movie. Secondly, the kids and everyone else in the film swear so regularly, that we become immune to it after the first nuclear outbreak of it during and after a trip to a movie theater. The swearing no longer becomes the primary source of humor and we begin getting involved in the words between the swears. And those words are occasionally ruthless and acid-laced. The teacher Mr. Garrison has a line in the classroom that I donít think can be beat by any film I see this year. Itís the funniest line of the year and Iíll be using it for a long time. Iíve seen the film twice now. The first time I was a little surprised that the film essentially turned out to be a musical. The second time I enjoyed the songs even more Ė as almost all of them are funny, well-written, and capture (while parodying) the style of classic musicals. A few songs could have been eliminated. I, personally, could have done without Satanís song and Big Gay Alís song Ė but these are minor quibbles. This film couldnít come out at a better time as Hollywood has been taking so many hits lately for the content of its movies. And South Park treats it all with equal aplomb. Everyone is skewered in this movie and they better learn to laugh quick otherwise theyíll find themselves protesting outside theaters showing this movie, just like the mothers of South Park.

Itís amazing how many things got squeezed into an 82-minute animated feature that feels all too real in some moments. Tightly edited with a great script and story, you almost forget youíre watching an animated film. And this film takes bold stands, some of them only implied, as when one of the boys cannot be heard and not paid attention to because their mother is protesting ďfor the good of their childĒ. Another great implication is that the idea of the V-chip may have some effect, but would never stop a child from swearing, no matter how much it hurt. South Park is a laugh riot from start to finish. Sure itís vulgar and profane, but also thought-provoking and timely. Whatís it say that two of the best films of 1999 (South Park and Tarzan) are cartoons Ė maybe itís because they actually have more to say.

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