South Park fans may be expecting the worst from BASEketball, the new movie starring that show's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The filthy- mouthed little Comedy Central show-that-could began as a cleverly stupid enterprise, yet in its last few episodes it's flirted with losing the adverb. But director-writer David Zucker's choice to use Parker and Stone had nothing to do with their show; according to Hollywood flacks, South Park hadn't even reached the air when Zucker was casting his movie. His choice, instead, had everything to do with the duo's real-life ease at toilet humor (not surprisingly, BASEketball contains a lot of toilet humor).
directed by David Zucker
starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone
now playing at Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Alderwood
Although Zucker's latest may not define a genre the way his movie Airplane! did, it's certainly an entertaining way to spend a couple of air-conditioned hours. Professional sports beg to be parodied, and BASEketball does just that. Heroes Joe "Coop" Cooper (pudgy, bottle-blond Parker) and Doug Remer (skinny, Afro-headed Stone) invent a brand-new sport that everyone can play—a sport that actually cultivates "trash talking" as a skill. Unlike every other pro league, the BASEketball players and teams are forbidden to sell themselves to the highest bidder. And their cheerleaders don't pull any punches about the real nature of their job: They're strippers who don't strip.
During the opening 15 minutes, Coop and Remer transform themselves from overgrown losers who spend their time "hanging out playing Nintendo" into "America's most famous sports stars." They court Yasmine Bleeth, turn down lucrative endorsements, and fend off an evil money-grubbing team owner who tries to lure them into compromising their principles. Despite the predictability of the plot, BASEketball doesn't feel throw-away: the one-liners and slapstick are piled on thick enough that if one pratfall doesn't work, there's another funnier one just seconds away. Parker and Stone share the kind of best-pal chemistry that can't be faked, and though they're playing themselves, it works for at least one film, just the way it did with Bill and Ted, and Wayne and Garth.