Sausage Party is an animated film that quickly gained infamy on the internet after the release of its trailer earlier this year. The marketing team saw their opportunity after an avalanche of hate slammed into the Ghostbusters trailer and released their own trailer that promised audiences with a raunchy animated comedy to relieve them from the torture that the other late-summer comedies would surely put them through. As far as the new wave of 3D animated films go, this was the first one to receive an R Rating. But let’s quickly dispel with the notion that animated movies for adults are a “new thing.” Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been way ahead of the curve for years now with films like The South Park Movie (1999), and Team America: World Police (2004, which featured marionettes, but that’s close enough). Adult animation has also dominated television for decades with titles that are so universally known that I’m not going to even bother to hit CTRL+I to type them out.
The other thing that helped Sausage Party garner a good amount of attention is that it was written by, and stars, the likes of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen…
Now, I could go into a rant about how I think Seth Rogen is a talent-less heap of potato salad laced with marijuana, but I won’t. I could talk about how his style of comedy has done the most to destroy my view of the comedy film genre, but I’m going to move on. And I could also ramble about how I think he has one of the most annoying voices of all time, but I’m going to restrain myself… for now.
It’s a comedy film about talking food… so I guess you can’t expect much, but I’m not keen on giving out grace for lack of expectation.
The story is really about food (and a very inconsistent number of other “consumables”) that lives in a grocery store under the belief system that humans are their gods, and that they have to display themselves as best they can so that they will be chosen by the humans to leave the store and go the “The Great Beyond,” which is essentially food-heaven and the only place they’re allowed to… have sex? I guess?
Anyway, one sausage, who is actually a hot dog, named Frank, starts to see suspicious signs that the humans and the great beyond may not be as great as everyone thinks they are. So, after leaving his packaging with his girlfriend, Brenda Bunson, he embarks on a quest for the truth where he meets other aptly named and wacky food items along the way.
If the anti-religious themes didn’t jump out at you in that very short and vague summary, then they’ll get out of their seat and sucker punch you right in the jaw when you actually see the movie. The film makes a half-assed attempt to “middle-road” everything towards the end by giving a short speech about how “no one has all the answers,” but they’ll quickly remind you that, while no one has all the answers, the religious folk certainly have it all wrong.
As a religious person myself, I can certainly roll with punches. I didn’t have that much of a problem with it (even if the above paragraph sounded pretty harsh), but when you take out the jokes and parts without substance, all that’s left is an animated movie that is trying to tell you that your god is not real.
I will admit, for a Seth Rogen movie, it did take me a little by surprise; the satire and references to other popular films are definitely my flavor. But for the most part, it is still a landslide of drug, sex, and party jokes. For someone that sports near super-human intellect, such as myself, these jokes just lack the substance and intelligence required to make me laugh. I prefer comedy that is more well-planned, tasteful, smart, and thought provoking, like South Park.
The other thing, as I’m sure many of you have heard about by now, is the ending of this film. I’m not talking about the two minutes before the credits show up, I’m talking about the [SPOILERS] five straight minutes of hardcore food-on-food orgy that left me with my jaw on the floor. I get it guys, you made a rated R animated movie that basically gives you free reign on what’s allowed and what isn’t, but wouldn’t you rather do something else? Like… I don’t know… blow up a fat guy using an ungodly amount of diet coke and mentos?…. Huh? That’s in there too?….oh, never mind then. [END SPOILERS]
In summary: they definitely go overboard with the, “WOOHOO! We made a Rated R movie so we can do whatever the hell we want!” But there is still some substance and humor that even someone like me can enjoy (especially the endless string of food puns).
Voice Acting: 6.5/10
Sausage Party‘s voice acting is a mix of good and bad. On the good side, you have a few examples of voice casting perfection; like Nick Kroll (as the Douche), Bill Hader (who is always excellent), and especially Edward Norton (yeah, I didn’t know he was in this until the very end). But on the bad side, you have Seth Rogen (I believe I have previously mentioned my opinion on his voice), Michael Cera (because he’s Michael Cera), and Kristen Wiig (who, for the 2nd time this year, just wasn’t very funny).
X-Factor: 5/10, What’s special about douches and weiners?
I don’t know if I’m just looking to deeply into this, but I couldn’t wrap my head around why some things were alive others weren’t. For instance: I already mentioned that Nick Kroll plays a douche… like literally, a douche. We also see toilet paper rolls, and even condoms that are alive too. So why are things like toothpicks and knives, which also make an important appearance in the film, not also alive? Or why is it that sometimes the packaging is alive but not the food itself, or sometimes it’s both? Every bag of chips is alive, but the chips themselves aren’t. But then there’s also a pack of Mentos that’s alive and each individual mento inside of it is also alive!
Sausage Party is better than most of Seth Rogen’s movies, but it still heavily caters to his fan-base and often gets carried away with trying to be too raunchy. If you’re fine with the abrasive anti-religious themes and are a sad human being that is able to consider yourself a “fan” of most Seth Rogen films, then this is definitely right up your ally, go see it. But if you’re like me and are just kinda turned off by the current state of comedy films in general, then maybe save your money and wait for an opportunity to see it for free. While I wish I wouldn’t have spent my money on it, I am glad that I saw it in the end, because I’m sure it’s going to be a huge pop-culture hit for the rest of the year (especially for people my age).