Television shows have a difficult time transitioning to movie screens. Some feel like an extended version of the regular series (like The Simpsons Movie), some only make sense to fans of the series (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), and plenty are just plain awful (X-Files: Fight the Future). With the big screen and a R rating providing more opportunities for profanity, plotting, and musical numbers, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut knocks the ball out of the park.
Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny are the far-from-innocent little kids in South Park, Colorado. They're thrilled when stars Terrence and Philip release their film Asses of Fire. ("But this is going to be the best movie ever! It's a foreign film from Canada.") After seeing that curse-filled film, the kids start swearing up a storm --and Kenny gets killed, naturally -- leading Shelia Broflovski, Kyle's mom, to lead the U.S. in a war against Canada to execute Terrence and Philip.
But wait, there's more! If Terrence and Philip are killed, Satan can return to the world -- and Satan and his selfish boyfriend Saddam Hussein are eager to return. (This movie came out long before Hussein died in real life, but they have fun with him: "It's been six weeks since Saddam Hussein was killed by a pack of wild boars and the world is still glad to be rid of him.") Cartman has a V-chip installed in him that shocks him everytime he swears; he gets shocked a lot. Stan is still in love with Wendy but is jealous of the new cool boy she likes. Kyle wants his mother to stop ignoring him while going to war for him; he also wants to protect his adopted brother Ike -- who's Canadian. And Kenny tries to stop Satan and occasionally appears as a ghost.
Of course, none of this would be complete without show-stopping musical numbers. This film has numerous great songs, from the Broadway musical-style "La Resistance" to the Oscar-nominated "Blame Canada." Fans of the show will also enjoy full-length versions of "I'm Super" and "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch." The movie also has both a normal version of "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" and a punk-Riverdance version in the credits.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is amazingly offensive and utterly hysterical. This movie is nigh-infinitely quotable, and the storylines all intersect very well. Almost every character from the tv show makes an appearance, but the story is very eaasy for folks who haven't seen the show to enjoy. (Fans of the show will get to see and hear Kenny without his hood.) While there is a truly enormous volume of swearing in the film, it's never gratituous and even advances the story! There are several guest stars here -- George Clooney, Eric Idle, Brent Spiner, Mike Judge, Minnie Driver -- and Trey Parker and Matt Stone do their usual terrific job of voicing the kids.
My only complaint with the dvd is one of timing. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was released when dvds were fairly new, so bonus materials are very scarce: subtitles, chapters, and three movie trailers. I'm hoping for an eventual rerelease where Parker and Stone talk about the inspiration for the movie (including their previous movie getting slapped with a NC-17) and the guest stars discuss working on this. Other than that, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is a wild and wonderful twisted comedy. Mmmkay!
Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch