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South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Director: Trey Parker
Rated: R
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: June 1999
Genres: Animation, Comedy

*Also starring: Isaac Hayes, George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, Mike Judge

Review by Greg King
3½ stars out of 4

With this feature length version of the cult animated series South Park, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have deliberately pushed the envelope. Although aimed at adult audiences, South Park has developed a strong following among younger audiences, much to the horror of parents and cultural experts. The animation definitely lacks sophistication, but Parker and Stone more than make up for their simplistic style with their razor sharp wit and wickedly off beat and profane sense of humour.

The pair also possess an iconoclastic sense of humour. In this energetic and irreverent farce they target a number of familiar figures, including America's premier acting family the Baldwins, Winona Ryder, talk show host Conan O'Brien, and billionaire computer geek Bill Gates. A heavyweight cast, including George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Brent Spiner and Eric Idle, also lend their vocal talents to the film.

The film's defiantly politically incorrect humour is laced with obvious racist and homophobic overtones. However, despite its subversive nature, South Park also resonates with positive messages about tolerance, understanding and family values. South Park highlights the hypocrisy and dichotomy of American movie censorship, in which massive violence and wanton destruction are okay, but sex and profanity are a definite no-no.

When the fragile little minds of the children of this sleepy Colorado mining town are endangered by an adult movie starring cult heroes Terrance and Philip, South Park is in an uproar. The disturbed mothers unite to save their sons' morals and launch a campaign to blame Canada. Cartman is even implanted with an electronic chip that sends out an electrical charge whenever he swears. However, censorship and censure soon leads to war between the US and Canada. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein and the devil, who are depicted in a cosy relationship in hell, eagerly await their chance to dominated the world. Eventually, common sense prevails and peace returns to this sleepy little mountain community.

South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut also features a number of superb musical numbers, which is an obvious departure from the tv series. This can only be interpreted as a deliberate move by the creators to send up those quaint and wholesome Disney movies so admired by the previous generation. The movie begins innocently enough with a simple song that seemingly sings the praises of life in this small mountain town, but it quickly reveals its darker intent. The film features a number of decidedly catchy tunes that will help sell soundtrack CDs by the truckload, even if their lyrics ensure they won't receive commercial airplay.

South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut certainly crams plenty into its brisk 80 minutes. However, this hugely entertaining but ribald film never outstays its welcome. Even those unacquainted with the popular series will find a lot to enjoy in this hilarious feature length version.

Copyright 2000 Greg King

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