Review: Sausage Party (2016)

Sausage Party is a film that is way better than it has absolutely any right to be. A love child of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who have had their share of hits and misses over the years), the film raised eyebrows from the moment it was first conceived. The concept of a very hard R-rated, 3D animated movie about foul-mouthed supermarket items, at first glance seems novel, but vapid. This is occasionally true, but Sausage Party, provides just enough substance to back up its ambitiously offensive humor.

In your average, everyday supermarket, everything from hotdogs, buns, bagels, and potatoes, are sentient and long to be bought by humans, who will take them to the great beyond (where they’re sure nothing bad happens to food), and have wild sex with each other (yes, I know). This belief is shaken when a jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride), is returned to the supermarket traumatized. This leads the main hot dog, Frank (Rogen), hot dog bun, Brenda (Kristen Wigg), and their friends on a quest for the truth.

The plot, while often feeling contrived as a way to get animated foods to be profane, is bolstered by its purposeful plot. It functions as a religious allegory, which at least gives it some weight to the profanity. The swearing does become numbing for a while, but the film goes from 0-100 real quick in the last twenty minutes. I won’t spoil too much, but it involves the villainous douche (yes, a literal douche is the villain), a food rebellion involving bath salts, and the single most graphic sex scene you’re likely to see in any movie this year. It’s this insane climax, coupled

The cast for sausage party is surprisingly dense, with regulars like Jonah Hill, James Franco, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson and Paul Rudd all present, as well names like Edward Norton, Nick Kroll, and Salma Hayek showing up. each play an often rather clever character, such as a Stephen Hawking-esque gum in a wheelchair, the “nonparishables” including a twinky, native American fire water, and a box of grits, as the ones who invented the concept of the great beyond. The movie is rife with these clever food jokes, and references. Apart from the clever bits, a majority of the films laugh rely on shock humor. The juxtaposition of the cartoony animations, mixed with extremely graphic “killings” of the food, is often pretty effective. Sometimes, however, it can be really trite. Shock humor can only go so far before the novelty wears really thin, and the argument that Sausage Party rests its laurels on food swearing and fucking start to peak through. This is especially apart when the hot dog, and several other foods smoke weed through a kazoo. I mean come on.

Still, thanks to a decent, pointed premise, some really clever food jokes, and some genuinely transgressive, offensive humor, Sausage Party manages to be a pretty entertaining trip, and way better than it should be. I wouldn’t mind seeing this kick start a trend of more adult-oriented animation.



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