Dir: Trey Parker, 1999
It didn’t take long for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s cult TV show, to get its own film. Usually, shows are around for many a year before there is even a thought of making one. Look at Star Trek or The Simpson’s.
But, South Park is a different kettle of fish. Offending anybody and everybody, the series take on the world at large through the eyes of four eight year old boys, caused a storm of controversy.
Foul mouthed, racist, anti-Semitic, perverse, insulting, blasphemous, crude, you name it. There isn’t one adjective that hasn’t been used to describe the show.
Despite all the hatred from conservative groups and the bible belt, South Park has always been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. The humour is off-colour, and often grotesque, but Parker and Stone have a winning formula that that is vital to the series success.
Unfortunately, that formula doesn’t work so well with a feature length running time.
Eight year old friends, Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny, sneak into the cinema to watch Asses Of Fire, the new ‘R’ rated film starring their comedy heroes, Terrance and Phillip.
Terrance and Phillip are Canadian actors, whose whole routine centres on the pair farting on each other. However, the film is filled with extreme bad language which the kids start using.
Outraged at this, Kyle’s mother, Sheila, wages a war on the film and Canada itself, unawares that Saddam Hussein and his gay lover Satan, use this battle to try and take over the world.
Like other TV series to film, the extended run time is too much for the premise. South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut starts brilliantly, with Stan happily singing his way through the oddball town and collecting his friends.
As the film progresses, the laughs get bigger and more frequent. Until, everything just stops dead and the jokes that are actually funny, become few and far between. Parker and Stone simply run out of steam.
It’s not to be unexpected, though, as the plot isn’t strong enough to last nearly eighty minutes. The first forty or fifty minutes are a blast. Gut achingly hilarious. It’s just the last half an hour or so, that lets the rest down.
The soundtrack is a superb blend of comedy and heartfelt passion, with the tunes being addictive. Highlights include, Shut Your Fucking Face, Uncle Fucka!, It’s Easy, Mmmkay and the real classic; Kyle’s Mom Is A Big Fat Bitch!. With titles like these, you know what you’re in for.
This isn’t a cash in, by any stretch of the imagination. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are fervently against censorship and their show has often been a victim of it. South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, is Parker and Stone’s reaction to censorship and the their right to free speech. Satirising the notion of prohibition, the pair deftly show how ultimately futile banning something is. Ironically, the act of censoring offensive material, is itself offensive.
Despite the film’s rather low certificate in the UK, there is a constant stream of coarse language and highly vulgar jokes; including the kids watching Cartman’s mum performing in scat porn and Saddam Hussein waving a large realistic penis to Satan.
South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut is a hugely intelligent film. Undeniably ambitious, it’s a crystal clear example of the talent that Parker holds. If only he would concentrate on one thing, instead of several projects at once, he could produce a masterpiece.
More hits than misses, the film is still worthy of a watch and should provide you with a decent amount of entertainment.