Cert: 15 Runtime: 81 mins Director: Trey Parker Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes, Minnie Driver, Brent Stinner and George Clooney
See, it doesn’t hurt anyone! Fuck, fuckety, fuck, fuck, fuck.
Recently I’ve had a bit of a South Park binge, it started when I went to London to watch the Book of Mormon. This re-kindled my admiration for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s work. I’ve been watching South Park since it came out in the UK in 1998 at the tender age of 10. From the potty mouthed humour I’ve grown to see the strong philosophical messages from the show and it’s educated me about a few topics. So what is South Park the movie about? When four boys in South Park Stan Marsh, Kyle and his stepbrother Ike Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick sees an R-rated movie featuring Canadians “Terrance & Phillip: Asses of Fire”, they are pronounced “corrupted”, and Kyle’s mom Sheila with the rest of the parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada for World War 3! It’s all up to Stan, Kyle and Cartman to save Terrence and Phillip before Satan and his lover Saddam Hussein from Hell rules the world and it’ll be the end of the whole world.
One thing that impressed the hell out of me upon repeated viewing of this movie was the mammoth percentage of jokes that were hilarious. I’d guess-timate there were something like 400 jokes in this film over its short running time–dialogue, visual gags, the song numbers–and there were very few jokes were I wasn’t laughing and smiling. Considering how much humour Trey Parker & Matt Stone jammed into this film, it’s really amazing how much of it is side-splittingly funny and intelligent, as well.That’s another thing that I was quietly amazed at: this is a very smart, very perceptive film disguised as an all-time shock and obscenities comedy. It shows better than almost any drama I’ve ever seen how people can go from understandably reacting to a situation to completely overreacting and end up doing more harm than good. Take Kyle’s mum, for example. Is what she does here wrong? By the end, yes, she’s gone berserk. But is she wrong to be concerned about the way her child is behaving, about the influences on them? No, because those influences aren’t going to be good for Kyle, Stan, or Cartman either.
Kyle put it best when he asked his mum not to punish anyone but himself when he does something bad. The sense of self-responsibility for one’s actions is a powerful message and it’s awesome to see it embedded in an all-out comedy.Add to that the musical numbers, which are raunchy, off-the-wall, and the funniest things in the movie. My favourites were “Uncle F—a”, “What Would Brian Boitano Do?”, and the “La Resistance” marathon number. The only song that isn’t great is Satan’s rendition of “Up There”. It was funny but made points about his desires to be a regular, happy gay man that the film had already expressed.This movie could have been a watered-down disappointment for loyal fans of the show or it could have been an experiment in shock value that didn’t keep the elements that make the show great and then didn’t translate into a feature-length film, either. What ultimately came about was one of the funniest films ever made, and one of the smartest.