South Park: The Passion of the Jew

South Park: The Passion of the Jew
South Park has always been able to turn around episodes that base their plots on current events in no time at all. When Saddam Hussein was captured in his underground hideout, the writers managed to incorporate the breaking news into their very next episode, having a bearded and disoriented Saddam play the role of the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain. So when The Passion of the Christ started breaking box office records, it was no surprise that the clocks in Matt and Trey's politically incorrect minds started to rapidly turn. The brilliant duo have taken things even further by releasing their counterattack to Mel Gibson's epic film, released on DVD on the exact same day, but sadly this isn't one of South Park's shining moments in satire. With everyone in South Park going bananas over Gibson's "guilt trip" that forces people to embrace Christianity, Kyle has no choice but to see the brutal film and is left mortified that his Jewish ancestors were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. Meanwhile, Cartman is so obsessed with Gibson and his work that he slowly becomes a German dictator, while Stan and Kyle think the movie sucks and demand their money be refunded by the incredibly insane director himself. There's some good commentary on the Passion phenomenon, but once the writers get their point across, they tend to drill it further and further in until the joke is stretched too thin, while the subplots are too over-the-top to carry the rest of the episode. Still, it's clever to release an episode from South Park's most current season just to make video renters do a double take when browsing the new release section. The DVD contains two other religion-heavy chapters in the South Park catalogue: "Red Hot Catholic Love" and "Christian Rock Hard." The latter is the best episode of the trilogy, with Cartman creating a crap Christian rock band, à la Creed, and taking them to the top of the charts in order to win a bet with Kyle, while the subplot deals with music piracy, poking fun at extremely wealthy musicians unable to obtain their ridiculous demands due to their miniscule loss of income. "Red Hot Catholic Love" flirts with bad taste, as Priest Maxi discovers the entire Catholic Church simply must survive on sex with young boys in order to continue as a religion. Oddly enough, all three episodes find Kyle admitting to Cartman that he's right for whatever verbal taunts he decided to dish out that day. Releasing The Passion of the Jew is a clever tactic, but certainly doesn't show this great series in its best light. (Paramount)