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South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
reviewed by Greta Christina

I've never quite figured out how to write about a mediocre movie. I know how to rave about a movie until I froth at the mouth, praising it so high that it could never possibly live up to the expectations I create and my readers inevitably leave the theater thinking, "Well, gee, it was pretty good, but it wasn't that good." And I know how to slice a movie into a million tiny pieces and grind the pieces into the gravel with my boot, tearing my hair out and shrieking like a harpy. But in all my years of movie reviewing, I still don't quite have the knack of saying, "Well, it was okay, I guess."

Well, South Park was okay, I guess. It had a few extremely funny bits, and a fair number of reasonably funny bits, and a whole lot of bits that fell kind of flat. It started out inspired, but it ran out of steam after a while; the jokes got less funny, or the jokes got old, I'm not sure which. Either way, it fits neatly into my theory that basing movies on TV shows isn't such a great idea, since material that works great for a half-hour sitcom can easily die on the vine when you draw it out for an hour and a half. And the whole Saddam Hussein bit was truly and deeply and profoundly annoying. I know it's dumb to complain about South Park being offensive, since being offensive is the whole damn point of the thing. But the thing I like about South Park the TV show is that it's offensive about sacred-cow targets, targets that nobody else has the chutzpah to make fun of, and "Saddam Hussein is an evil faggot asshole" hardly fits into that category.

I did generally enjoy the movie, I got quite a few giggles and was glad to have seen it. But it didn't make me fall out of my seat and bonk my head on the floor from laughing, which I kind of had been expecting it to do. So it was a tad disappointing. The songs are great, though. Easily the best part. You might even skip the movie and just buy the soundtrack.

Copyright 1999 Greta Christina. Originally published in San Francisco Frontiers.


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