MOVIE REVIEW: Sausage Party is an animated comedy filled with foul-mouthed fun
Seth Rogen and friends throw a party that we're happy to be invited to.
(SPOT.ph) What if our food have feelings? What if they had thoughts and dreams, and we crush these dreams by eating them? These are the questions Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg present to us in Sausage Party by adapting and mocking the same formula that has made Pixar so successful (i.e. What if toys/cars/feelings have feelings?!). Together, they create a raunchy and hilarious adult comedy that still manages to delve into philosophical questions about purpose, life, and the afterlife. They just so happen to do it with their own unique brand of unfiltered humor.
The film opens with a phenomenal musical number. From the bread to the fruits and vegetables, everyone sings about their great life and how they are ready to be taken by the "gods" (the humans) to the "Great Beyond" outside the supermarket doors. Oblivious to what actually happens to food once taken outside the supermarket, a sausage named Frank (Rogen) and a hot dog bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig) are overjoyed when they are taken, so that they can finally "come together."
Naturally, things don't go as planned. A returned jar of honey mustard reveals what really happens outside the doors. The commotion knocks Frank, Brenda, and others out of the shopping cart. Hoping to uncover the truth, Frank and a couple of new friends—a Middle Eastern lavash or flatbread named Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz) and a Jewish bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton doing his best Woody Allen impersonation)—traverse the supermarket to find out. Along the way, they fight off an aggressive douche named Douche (Nick Kroll), join forces with a sultry Mexican taco (Salma Hayek), and seek wisdom from a Native American liquor bottle (Bill Hader).
There's no denying that Sausage Party is a frequently offensive film with its stereotypical depictions of native dishes and many double entendres, but it doesn't just stay that way. Rogen and Goldberg, who wrote the script with Jonah Hill, use the film to lightly tap into social issues. Lightly, yes, but they still make a point. For example, the Middle Eastern lavash and the Jewish bagel have some disagreements over territories and borders, obviously mirroring the real-life conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Brenda, on the other hand, is a depiction of a Christian woman who believes God judges everything she does.
Of course, it isn't all that serious. It's gut-bustingly funny, especially when it goes full throttle in the last half-hour. The first half builds the animated and entertaining world, but it's in the final act when Sausage Party goes for full-out, balls-to-the-wall comedy. Raunchy, excessive, and vulgar, but all in good fun, the last act makes the film worth watching—and it's definitely a memorable sequence you'll be talking about for weeks.
The directing duties fall on the laps of Conrad Vernon (who worked on the Shrek and Madagascar films) and Greg Tiernan (who worked on the kid-friendly Thomas & Friends). The duo do a fine job of choraling all the moments, striking the right balance of restraint and over-the-top antics. That being said, the actual animation is great, but the characters' design can look almost as crude as the film's humor. Thankfully, the voice cast has great comedic timing and voice acting that jarring pacing and clunky-looking characters are saved.
Rogen's recognizable voice works well for the befuddled and shaken Frank whose world is being changed, but it's the likes of Norton, Hader, Krumholtz, and Rogen's frequent collaborators James Franco and Paul Rudd who create unrecognizable and unique voice performances that really make the film feel even more different. Sausage Party is not the most intellectual of films nor is it food for the soul, but it will fill your comedic hunger. This food gang throw one heck of a party; just don't bring your kids!
RATING: 4 out of 5 spots
Sausage Party is now showing in theaters (R-18 and uncut). Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures.