Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Shit. Cock. Marsha Warfield. Are you laughing yet? If so, you could be the ideal audience for this big-screen transplantation of Comedy Central's South Park. Since it premiered, South Park has been embraced by surly teens and scorned by unhappy parents and the similarly uptight. What has often been lost in the hype is just how funny and sharply satirical Trey Parker and Matt Stone's series can be. When it's on its game, and it frequently is, South Park's portrayal of its foul-mouthed, pre-teen, construction-paper-like protagonists' navigation of the absurd adult world around them cuts as deeply as any other current comedy. And, for its first 15 minutes or so, the gleefully obscene Bigger, Longer & Uncut captures South Park at its best, making the most of its R rating as, in a bit of self-referencing, catchphrase magnet Cartman and friends become corrupted by the big-screen version of their favorite TV show. But what's funny for 15 minutes doesn't stay quite so funny when repeated over the course of nearly an hour and a half, and the show's familiar mixture of obscenity and offhand pop-culture references starts to wear thin after a while. Making matters worse: jokes that simply don't work, such as every scene involving Satan and Saddam Hussein (boy, those two sure had it coming), some cumbersome and too-frequent musical numbers, and the fact that the plot essentially recycles an early episode of the series while adding elements of Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon that weren't particularly funny to begin with. That's not to say that Bigger, Longer is largely without laughs, or that fans of the series won't enjoy it—it's not and they will—but given the opportunity to expand the canvas of their show, Parker and Stone haven't found much to do other than unbleep the words that don't fly on cable, placing the emphasis—except for those musical numbers—on the uncut element rather than making things truly bigger. Fuck.

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