It's another cold, quiet and peaceful day in the Colorado mountain town of South Park, and little Stan (voiced by Trey Parker) is singing around the streets as he goes home to ask permission to attend the new film starring his favourite comedians, Terrance and Philip. She agrees, and he heads off to gather his friends, first Kenny (whose mother tells him he'll go to hell for doing so, but he's not bothered), then Kyle (Matt Stone) who brings his toddler brother along, and finally Cartman (Parker), the most obnoxious of the gang. But if you thought he was obnoxious before...
...wait till they've seen the movie, in this the big screen cash-in/expansion of the popular cartoon show South Park, and with a subtitle like Bigger, Longer and Uncut you would have had an inkling that the humour was even coarser here than it had been on television. Creators Parker and Stone insisted the studio allow them to make an R-rated effort, which they gave into, and the result was the highest-grossing animated comedy for adults ever made. Since then, the series saw its popularity decline, with grumblings that it was not as good as it used to be, leaving the movie viewed as a high watermark of the whole franchise.
Is it really that funny as it seemed back in '99? If you lamented at what the show turned into, this can appear to be the golden age for Parker and Stone's humour, though for many it had to be Team America: World Police that represented their greatest movie. Certainly the targets for this, that was those who made it their business to spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about what other people were watching in cinemas or television, were ripe for parody, but the truth was the duo were not content to stick with that and their approach could best be described as scattershot as they fired off gags wildly in all directions.
One thing in its favour was that with the series being on the air for a mere couple of years before the film was made, the characters were very much how the fans liked to remember them in the way that appealed in the first place, and if not all of them got a large role, then there were plenty of the favourites with enough to do to make it worth the aficionados' while to catch this. The main focus remained the four friends, and they feel responsible when they get carried away after bluffing their way into seeing the adults-only Terrance and Philip flick, thereby expanding their vocabulary substantially in the field of swearing, saying just about everything the writers could think up.
Although according to this the worst swear word is the F-bomb, as for some reason no one thought to start throwing around the C-word, possibly because they wouldn't have secured that R-rating, but it does mean it looks as if they were copping out a little. Elsewhere, with Saddam Hussein dead and now Satan's gay life partner in hell (one wonders if the dictator ever saw this before he actually did die), and bloodshed ridiculously over the top when the contentious film within the film sparks a war between its home country of Canada and the U.S.A., there was plenty to be offended by should you wish to be, but Parker and Stone's naughty schoolboy sense of humour was too silly for anyone to take them perhaps as seriously as they might have liked. The impression was they would have been delighted if someone had picketed their work, but more likely you'd emerge from this with the catchy songs running through your head - it was a musical as well.