Take That!

To find out how obscenities save the world from Satan and Saddam Hussein; to understand why the United States has declared war on Canada; to hear the best (and only) song written in praise of Brian Boitano, and to witness the violent demise of Bill Gates, there is only one place to turn: "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." Every bit as tasteless, irreverent, silly and smart as the Comedy Central cartoon that catapulted creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone into the Hollywood catbird seat, "South Park" has a gag-to-laugh ratio even higher than the new "Austin Powers."

And it's filled with roof-raising musical numbers. That may be the biggest difference from the half-hour show. Otherwise, all the familiar, strangely fatherless little devils are on hand: lovelorn Stan, still pining and puking for Wendy; obtuse Cartman, making anti-Semitic cracks at the neurotic Kyle, and the parka-shrouded, incomprehensible Kenny, who dies this time when a surgeon replaces his heart with a baked potato. How did he end up in surgery in the first place? He went up in flames in a failed attempt to light a fart.

Oh, yes, flatulence is central to "South Park's" adolescent appeal, but also to the movie's plot--and its sly politics. The trouble begins when the kids sneak into an obscenity-filled Canadian movie, "Asses of Fire," starring the infamous Terrence and Phil. Soon they are mimicking the stars' every dirty word, and just as soon Kyle's outraged mom is leading a campaign to protect the children of the nation. ("Blame Canada" is one of Parker and Marc Shaiman's rousing musical anthems.) A kind of crackpot Madeleine Albright, she soon has Clinton's ear. When the Canadians, protesting the arrest and imminent execution of Terrence and Phil, bomb the entire Baldwin family to oblivion, the hellhounds of war are unleashed. Better dead bodies than dirty words, the voices of morality decree, as Parker and Stone gleefully hurl satirical poop at the MPAA and all who have tried to muzzle "South Park's" wicked tongue. This raunchy assault on authority, coming in the midst of the nation's increasingly surreal debate on the pernicious influence of the media, couldn't be more timely. It cuts through the pious finger pointing like, well, we shouldn't really say.

South Park.Paramount. Opens June 30.
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