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IN SHORT: Obscenely funny. [Rated [R], 80 minutes]
THE CRITICAL ANGLE: The limits of good taste, stretched to the breaking point by There's Something About Mary, are utterly mangled within five minutes of the start of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. If you have no idea what you're paying cold hard cash for, a quick peek at cable's Comedy Central is in order -- yes, this is one of those very few times that we will make reference to the Source Material. You will learn that South Park is populated by a quartet of obscenity spouting toonlets that, unfettered by any television censorship, spout language that would make George Carlin blush. They don't just spout. They gush. They bellow. They explode with a torrent of obscenity and bathroom that is totally outrageous ("Outrageous" being MovieCriticSpeak for rude, crude, degrading, perverted, obscene and absolutely rip roaring funnier than a [OBSCENE DESCRIPTION DELETED BY ORDER OF THE WEBMASTER]).
THE ALLEGED HISTORY: When their boys were young, Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Stone put aside a coffee can into which a dollar had to be placed each time their kidlets, Trey and Matt, said a dirty word. That can still exists today, which explains the record setting "$637 Million Dollar Budget" (that figure according to the trailer) of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, whose title seems to have raised some controversy. Let's deconstruct. A movie screen is bigger than a teevee screen. This movie is three times longer than the teevee show. No obscenities are bleeped. What's all the commotion? <vbg>
THE STORY: Stan, Kenny, Kyle and Cartman sneak into Asses of Fire, an [R] rated animated film by their favorite stars, Terrance and Phillip. Their minds totally warped by the evil, evil songs and fart humor of these Canadian toonstars, our lovable kidlets start using language that is, well, think of a dirty word for every letter of the alphabet and it'll be there. Kyle's mom leads a protest to Washington. Washington declares war on Canada and Kenny dies a horrible death.
Roasting in Hell, where the special effects top those seen in Spawn, Kenny discovers that Armageddon will be unleashed once Terrance and Phillip are executed (at the climax of a USO show to be hosted by Big Gay Al). Can Kenny get word back to his living buddies so they can save the day? Or will they waste precious time surfing adults-only sites on the Internet? And if they do, what despicable and disgusting things will they find Cartman's mom doing there? Here's a hint: Despicable and Disgusting to you won't even come close to what is on screen.
THE CRITICAL ANGLE: What makes South Park flat out funny is that everybody is a target. Canadians, Jews, White People, Black People, Fat People, people who foist cheap animation on a paying public, politicians, the Army. You name it, they're nailed. As far as any of their stories go, and this is the point that gets missed by almost everyone, is that every episode of South Park has a moral attached. Here, it is how parental units have abrogated their responsibility for raising their kids to other authority figures. "If you had just talked to us," Stan says, "none of this would have happened." I'm taking the time to put that in writing because you'll be laughing so hard you may miss it.
Most of the characters from teevee are here. While Mr. Hanky does not appear in the film, his cousins play a vital role in some of the gags. Jesus Christ only makes a cameo, since the star of the show is arch enemy Satan, who's been made the love slave of new Bad Guy in Hell, Saddam Hussein.
Trust Cranky, folks. If you don't walk out in disgust, and you have been more than warned about the language, you will laugh until you cry. You will reach the point where you think that Parker and Stone can't get any more bawdy than the joke that came two seconds earlier, but they do. Over and over and over and over and over again. Cranky didn't think there were hundreds of ways to make dirty words funny, but there are. And what is even more outrageous, and even funnier than dirty words, is that it is all wrapped in a Busby Berkeley style musical. South Park sports 14 songs in all, including a full blast multi-lingual, multi-racial ethnic rendition of the hit first heard in last year's Christmas Special, "Kyle's Mom Is A Bitch." The audience applauded when it was finished. In a lovely reference to "The Spirit Of Christmas" cartoon that began this whole phenomena, a second production number wonders "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" and the audience again broke into applause after Satan's big ballad "Up There" and by the time you hit the climax of the movie, a reprise of the opening number "Mountain Town", it all sounds suspiciously like the Broadway show Les Mis.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut, he would have paid...
I'm not rushing back to see it (which would be the $8 level) but I'll probably see South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut again to see if it's as funny the second time around.
Guest voices in this lavish production include George Clooney (as a doctor, 'natch), Star Trek's Brent Spiner (as Conan O'Brien), Minnie Driver (as Brooke Shields), Dave Foley as Alec Baldwin, Monty Python's Eric Idle, Stewart Copeland (of The Police) and Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge.
28 Weeks Later
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