“Sausage Party” Movie Review
As soon as I saw the red band trailer for Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s new animated film, I knew I was in for a treat. It had the look and feel of a modern Pixar movie- with impressive animation, a great energy, and a quirky story about talking food. But it also had an edge to it: a sharp, unapologetic, hard-R level of comedy that left me in tears. So after I bought my ticket opening night and settled into the theater, I prayed to the movie gods that Sausage Party would be as deliciously funny as the previews promised.
Sausage Party tells the simple story of foods eager to experience a better life. Fruits, vegetables, chips, sauces, etc, live peacefully on the shelves of Shopwell’s supermarket. Each of them dream about reaching the “Great Beyond”, a sort of heavenly, uncertain future they encounter once they’re chosen by “gods” (the shoppers). For a hot dog named Frank (Seth Rogen) and his girlfriend, a bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig), it looks like their time has come to make that journey. But a freak accident has them left behind, and Frank quickly learns the truth about the so-called “Great Beyond”. So he embarks on an adventure with Brenda, a bagel named Sammy (Edward Norton, surprisingly), and a lavash named Kareem (David Krumholtz) to warn the other foods about their fate.
Interestingly enough, I expected to see children at my screening. Since it was an animated film- and we know that some parents forget that ratings exist- I thought it’d be hilarious to see who’d be stupid enough to bring their kids. But in the end I was actually happy that no one under age 17 was there, because this is one of the raunchiest movies I’ve ever seen. The film showers the audience with F-bombs, sex jokes, and plenty of gore. What’s surprising is that the insanity blends with a recurrent theme of belief. So the movie turns out to be an interesting satire about society and how interpretations of god and heaven can be corrupted or misconstrued.
And that’s the best way to describe this movie-crazy. For the most part, the extreme humor is handled very well. The timing is great, the jokes are strong. It does lag a bit in the middle, though, and the novelty gets a little old by the end. But there was very a point where it got too gratuitous or frustrating. The story itself is actually the opposite of what it seems. Instead of it being a Toy Story situation- where the characters get out and try to return home- the majority of the film takes place in the supermarket. It centers on them learning about the outside world without actually experiencing it. It’s not a bad idea per-say, but it would’ve been more interesting if the characters escaped their environment and had to find their way back.
Overall I’ll say that Sausage Party is one of the best theater experiences I’ve had in a while. My Friday night screening was packed, and as the film wrapped up, each of us was doubling over with laughter. Each voice actor brought their A-game to their roles, and the humor, although weak in certain spots, is relentless. It’s definitely not for everybody. If you’re pretty squeamish about NC-17 material, then you won’t have much fun. For those who have strong stomachs for crude outrageousness, then you’ll definitely have one hell of a time.
Cosmic Grade: 4.25 out of 5 stars