From the film's opening number -- where the population of South Park musically celebrates the glories of their redneck, white-trash Colorado mountain town -- "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone pepper the audience with comic shrapnel. The only problem comes when laughter sometimes drowns out the funnier lines.
Parker and Stone, who wrote the script with Pam Brady, tackle what turns out to be a hot-button topic: whom society can blame when U.S. youth goes astray. Somebody has to be blamed. So why not blame Canada?
When Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman manage to slip into an R-rated movie, their third-grade friends follow suit. The movie's foul language and fart jokes so corrupt their tiny brains that nearly every child is incapable of civil speech.
Angry parents need to point their fingers somewhere and, as the film's stars are Canadian, everyone decides to blame Canada. South Park's protest movement against Canada mushrooms. Before you know it, the Canadian stars, Terrence and Philip, get the death penalty, and the United States declares war on its northern neighbor.
Cartman, the most foul-mouthed of the bunch, gets an unusual "V-chip" inserted into his brain that gives him a shock every time he utters a naughty word. Meanwhile, Kenny has been killed -- naturally -- and finds himself in Hades, where he encounters a surprisingly milquetoast Satan and his new bed mate, Saddam Hussein, who are plotting to take over the world.
Happily, the crude caricatures of the inspired cable television series have been improved not one bit for their feature debut. "South Park" still looks like a cartoon anyone could draw. And at 80 minutes, the movie ends long before its flat design grows wearisome on the eyes.
The "South Park" universe has been enlarged somewhat for the big screen. Parker, who directs, stages elaborate heaven and hell sequences. And the warfare between the two North American nations requires busy art design.
The film's outrageous songs, written mostly by Parker and composer Marc Shaiman, parody Broadway musicals like "Les Miserables", wherein spontaneous and harmonic passions erupt from an outraged populace.
Hollywood celebrities take more than a little ribbing from Parker and Stone, with Conan O'Brien, Brooke Shields and The Baldwin Brothers making highly unauthorized appearances. And what can one say about Winona Ryder entertaining the troops at a USO show by performing her pingpong ball trick?
"South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" has the kind of I-don't-believe-what-I-just-heard audacity that might even make Beavis & Butt-head creator Mike Judge nervous. How's he going to top this?
BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT
Warner Bros./Paramount Pictures
in association with Comedy Central
Producers: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Director: Trey Parker
Writers: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Pam Brady
Executive producers: Scott Rudin, Adam Schroeder
Director of animation: Eric Stough
Animation producer: Frank Agnone II
Music and lyrics: Trey Parker
Score, additional music and lyrics: Marc Shaiman
Editor: John Venzon
Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman: Trey Parker
Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick: Matt Stone
Mrs. Cartman, Sheila Broflovski, Mrs. McCormick: Mary Kay Bergman
Chef: Isaac Hayes
Dr. Gouache: George Clooney
Conan O'Brien: Brent Spiner
Brooke Shields: Minnie Driver
Dr. Vosknocker: Eric Idle
Winona Ryder: Toddy Walters
Running time -- 80 minutes
MPAA rating: R