Am a fan of 'South Park', more so the earlier seasons than later. Initially thought before getting into it that it wouldn't be my cup of tea at all, but it ended up right up my street despite not being for the easily offended. And to be honest, it is very easy to see why 'South Park' won't be for all tastes and why its humour is controversial.
Had heard nothing but good things about 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut', how great it was and how it did justice to the show in a way that few films based on series do (there are some disastrous ones out there). Seeing it, couldn't agree more with the acclaim and can see why people often put it on their favourite animated films lists (it's close to being on mine, and goes down as the boldest and one of the funniest). It absolutely does justice to the show and is every bit as good as it, and a fond reminder of the show in its prime years.
It is perfect for fans, and also does a fantastic job at having enough to attract a wider audience, one of the few series-to-film translations to do so.
Sure, some of the animation is crude and less than refined. Otherwise 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' is difficult to criticise. Considering that the humour is controversial and normally bad taste doesn't bode well with me ('Freddy Got Fingered' for example is an incredibly tasteless film, and in such a gratuitous, disturbing and unfunny way that it's on my worst films list), but it's wholly dependent on how the lack of taste is handled, whether it's handled wittily and cleverly. 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' is one such film.
Was really surprised at how tuneful the songs were, some of the best actually of any animated film to not have Disney's name on it and perhaps some of the best songs of any musicals of the past 20 years. "Up There", "Wendy's Song" and "Hell isn't Good" are standouts. The story execution worked brilliantly too, it has its poignant moments and some truthful and relevant messaging that makes its point without being over the top. It doesn't feel padded or like an extended episode of the show, actually opening up the concept to something bigger and bolder. It's also an ambitious story, but the ambition doesn't get in the way of the execution, one ends up admiring the ambition and the execution.
Like the show itself, a lot of the content is very controversial and not for the easily offended. is crude, extremely rude (every bit as much as 'Team America'), naughty, at times juvenile, often vulgar and less than subtle in its treatment of taboo subjects. At the same time, 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut', again like 'South Park', is hilarious, smart, witty and bold but also clever, sharp, irreverent and intelligent. The satirical humour is subversive and there are not many animated films this daring, risk-taking or bold and doing it in a way that doesn't feel like it's trying too hard. Completely contradicting the tired and incredibly annoying cliché spouted constantly that animation is only for children (often by parents defending a panned family film).
Often one is shocked at how much the film, like the show, gets away with, which feels like almost everything. Every subject and every everyday issues is covered and satirised it seems, nothing escapes the writers. While subtlety completely goes out the window, so much of what 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' says has a huge amount of truth and relevance. Like good satire should it does it in a daring and perhaps divisive fashion, not holding back and taking no prisoners. This should sound like a recipe for disaster, but actually to me it was why the show is so loved and admired and why the film has just as much appeal.
Before one forgets, the characters are some of the most memorable and iconic in recent animation, especially Cartman. Trey Parker and Matt Stone's voice work is a practical tour-De-force for both, both bringing so much individuality and personality to these characters and their writing. The regrettably late Mary Kay Bergman and Isaac Hayes also delight.
Overall, brilliant, as a representation of 'South Park' and as a film in general. Just know what you're letting yourself in for before watching. It's animated satire at its finest and bad taste has never been funnier. 9/10 Bethany Cox