Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig
There is nothing surprising about Sausage Party. If you missed the trailer (which appeared before the somewhat less sexually-explicit Suicide Squad showing I went to, and in one infamous instance in California before Finding Dory) the posters on the way into the theater are probable going to tell you everything you need to know. One poster is simply the main character Frank (yes, a sausage), standing at… er, attention. The other is the Frank snuggled into his bun girlfriend, Brenda, who looks like a Dr. Brundle experiment where he tried to transport a hot dog bun, but a vagina with breasts accidentally wandered into the transportation chamber with the bun. Really, I don’t think you can go into this movie without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. That being said, if your making the effort to see this movie in the theater, you’re probably going to have a good time.
Frank, Brenda, and all the other foods they live with at Shopwell’s Grocery Store hope to be bought by the gods (people) to go on to their reward in the great beyond. When Frank and Brenda are separated from their packmates, the storyline splits into two parts. Frank and Brenda’s adventures in Shopwell’s to get back to their isle, and the horrible truth that is revealed to the foods that make it outside of the store.
Sausage Party sets out to be crude and offensive, and succeeds spectacularly. If you find oral sex and profanity humorous, then you’ve found your movie. While overall amusing, I noticed a type of diminishing returns on the laughs as I was barraged by the same type of jokes over and over for 88 minutes. To the credit of writers Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill, the third act shows that they were showing some restraint throughout the beginning of the movie, and end with a grand finale that will get as many or more laughs out of me if I were to watch it again. The last part reminded me of the type of inappropriate cartoon shorts we’d pass around as kids, and it would make a great Funny or Die video to bring the comparison to the modern age.
In addition to the movie being jam-packed with cheesy jokes and double entendres, the movie also manages to explore the Marxist idea of religion as an “opium of the people.” There’s also the Middle Eastern lavish and the Jewish bagel that accompany Frank on his journey through Shopwell’s. The two breads of these cultures are at war with each other over who has the rights to the shelf space on their isle, and the conflict between these two characters is well constructed.
In spite of the laughs and the few swings the movie takes at religion, (and If I can divulge in a some more food related punnery), Sausage Party frankly fails to bring anything new to the table. It’s a typical raunchy comedy that happens to me animated. There is nothing so innovative that Matt Stone and Trey Parker haven’t done better, twice before with both South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut and Team America. Both of these films, even years after their release, are still a relevant and frequently references part of pop culture. I’m doubtful that Sausage Party will be so fondly remembered in the future.
So, sexualized anthropomorphic cartoon foods have feelings, and they say lots of dirty words. It’s an (in)decent comedy, with some food for thought, but more filler than anything else.