If you have seen the red band trailers for Sausage Party, know the premise and have seen every Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg collaboration up till this point, I will say that you are still unprepared for what this film has to offer. Less than twenty-four hours after my screening of the film and I’m still dealing with the shock and awe and, funny enough, this comes from a directing duo who are responsible for bring us Shrek 2 and a handful of Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends episodes. Let’s just say that these guys swim into a brave new adult world of rude and crude talking and behaving sentient food that go on an adventure you would never believe. Leave it to a couple of Vancouver-born comedy writers, with one who’s a known stoner, to bring something as bat guano insane as Sausage Party. Though I may seem still aghast to everything I experienced, I would not give it up for the world because I think I loved it.
Ever since it was announced that Rogen, Goldberg and Superbad actor and pal Jonah Hill has this crazy animated film idea, I had been quietly but anxiously waiting for anything to be released about it. The voice cast started forming up with frequent collaborators Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader and more coming on board but, aside from knowing the film would be about food coming to life in a Toy Story sort of manner, nothing was known about the plot. Now that I’ve seen it, I will say that this film is going to be very polarizing with many people saying that these filmmakers have finally gone too far. I, on the other hand, applauded them for not only pushing the envelope but for going beyond that, exhibiting almost no constraint. There are many ballsy moves in this film and it probably should be celebrated for that reason alone.
The film’s main character is Frank (Rogen), a sausage living in a package with his other friends Carl (Hill) and Barry (Cera), who is a stubby defective weiner. Together, with a fellow sausage, Troy (Workaholics’ Anders Holm), who’s only purpose is to antagonize them, they yearn for one of the gods, who are the human shoppers, to pick them and go to the great beyond and into eternity. Being that it’s Independence Day weekend, or Red White and Blue day to the food, Frank and his fellow passengers know that this could be the day. Frank has an extra horse in the race as he lusts to couple with a very special bun named Brenda, without whom his life is incomplete.
None of the food products know of what happens beyond the automatic doors of the grocery store and speculate about its glory every morning, bursting into a daily song about it. Everything is shaken up, especially for Frank, when a jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is purchased, brought home by a customer and then returned to the store. He returns with a story about the great beyond and how it is a massacre of all the food products as the “gods” consume them to grow stronger. In the panic that follows this revelation, Frank escapes his package and Brenda is loosed from her bag and the two get separated from their groups, who are purchased and brought to their fates. Frank searches for the real truth, seeking out a wise man known as Firewater, so that he can back up the conspiracy claims that Honey Mustard made.
Have I mentioned that this movie is utterly crazy? If you are easily offended, I suggest you stay far, far away from this movie, as it is possibly the most brash and purposefully outrageous film that has ever come from these guys and nothing is so sexually heightened. Much like its name, the main motivation of Sausage Party is the final sexual coupling of each of our food items, something that goes crazy a few times during the movie before going full blown haywire in the finale. Let’s just say that it goes so far that you’re unsure of eating anything afterward knowing that these deep seated and disturbing thoughts lurk in the things we pull nourishment from.
The voice cast is, as usual, a very well put together group who are evidentially having so much fun making the film. Rogen gives Frank a frantic thirst for knowledge that drives the film and Cera is adorable as the little buddy needing to get back to his friend. The notable supporting cast has Bill Hader taking on three roles, Salma Hayek playing a horny lesbian taco and Edward Norton channeling a hilarious Woody Allen impression as, well, a bagel. His arguing with David Krumholtz as Vash, a lavash, makes a funny and equally thought provoking lampooning of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
Funnily enough, the lampooning of belief and religion is actually a main plot point of Sausage Party and, besides all the implied sexuality of the film, is a driving force of the story. I was seriously baffled to find such a deep message hidden within a film that seems as disposable as this one but it shines through strong. Beyond that, the re-watch value of Sausage Party is infinite as there are definitely many in jokes and Easter eggs for fans to constantly pull from. I definitely look forward to my next pass through of this story as I was definitely laughing so hard in places that I may have missed some of the other dialogue.
The only thing about Sausage Party is that, in comparison to other animated releases like Zootopia, Finding Dory and The Secret Life Of Pets, the animation quality may look a little subpar and crudely done. Is it the fact that we’ve been spoiled with the caliber of animated films in this day and age? Maybe. Hell, even Ice Age: Collision Course looks beautiful and those movies looked like crap in the first couple installments. I might be a little nitpicky on this one but, really, it’s my only complaint. With a film that is as subversive as Sausage Party, I won’t throw out a clear recommendation of it but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time watching it and would love to see animation hold an equal focus in adult humor as it does in family films. For better or worse, Sausage Party stepped into a brave new world and I give it a four and a half out of five.