South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

on June 30, 1999 by L. J. Strom
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   "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone bring their smash-hit animated show from cable's Comedy Central network to the silver screen, pulling out all the stops and leaving no cliché unmolested. The film's blazing satire on media censorship flares up from the get-go when a Canadian movie, "Asses of Fire," hits the local bijou in the eponymous "quiet little mountain town." Awed by the flick's rampant profanity, third-graders Cartman and Stan (voiced by Parker) and Kyle and Kenny (voiced by Stone) are soon cursing a blue streak, much to the horror of their parents and teachers. Canada gets the blame for corrupting the children, and before you can say V-chip, America declares war on its northern neighbor. Meanwhile, Satan himself sees this as his opportunity to take over, and when all hell literally breaks loose, it's up to the foulmouthed moppets to save the world.
   Brazen, politically incorrect and thoroughly tasteless, this movie is not for the easily outraged and will doubtless have its detractors on that basis. Anticipating this, the filmmakers have cleverly co-opted the argument by using their plot to ask, in an albeit wildly exaggerated fashion, which is the greater obscenity: foul language or the draconian lengths to which self-appointed moral guardians will go to censor it?
   Amidst the swearing, the fart jokes and the cheap shots at topical targets, the airtight script has actual substance. But this film is also an unflagging, exultant piece of entertainment. Far more than a glorified television episode, "Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is truly a spectacle for the big screen, bursting with genuinely tuneful songs, towering "production numbers," and some ambitious imagery that seamlessly combines the show's deliberately crude cut-out style animation with sophisticated computer-generated hellfire.
   If only more Hollywood movies crackled with this much wit, ingenuity and exhilaration. Voiced by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman and Isaac Hayes. Directed by Trey Parker. Written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone and Pam Brady. Produced by Trey Parker & Matt Stone. A Paramount release. Animated comedy. Rated R for pervasive vulgar language and crude sexual humor, and for some violent images. Running time: 81 min
Tags: Voiced by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes. Directed by Trey Parker. Written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Pam Brady, Produced by Trey Parker, Paramount, Animated comedy
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