Reviewer: John Carpenter
Release date: 8/12/2016
89 Mins/Rated R
This could go wrong. Terribly wrong. On the surface, “Sausage Party” seems like a novel concept. Take a raunchy story by Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill, give it Pixar style animation and wait for the adults to fill theater seats. It seems like a win-win scenario. It presents a fine line though. Is the dialogue and subject matter dirty for the sake of being edgy in an animated film, or does it add to the story as “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” did a decade plus earlier? “Sausage Party” isn’t pulling any punches. It dips its toe in the water early with a random curse word here and there before jumping into the deep end with everything from sex to drugs and everything in between. Is it necessary? Does it work? This may come down to personal tastes.
“Red, White and Blue” day is close, which means local supermarket Shopwells is going to be busy selling everything that makes a 4th of July celebration great. This Pixar inspired market is stocked with groceries that are alive and well, even though humans (known as gods by the provisions) are unaware of their state. Though viewers get a tour throughout the varied attitudes and personalities scattered throughout the aisles, the story is centered on a hot dog styled sausage, Frank (Seth Rogan) and Brenda the hot dog bun (Kristen Wiig). These two REALLY want to get it on; they just need to be chosen by the gods so they can join in the ‘afterworld.’ According to a song the groceries sing each morning, the afterlife is basically heaven on earth for groceries. Little do they know what happens to the food once it leaves the store. The day comes and the two main characters (along with their respective packages) are finally chosen. Unfortunately, an accident leaves the lovers out of the package and in the supermarket looking for answers. To make matters worse, there is a pissed off, (literal) Douche (Nick Kroll) who wants revenge. He wanted to get all up in one of the gods, but the accident left him out in the cold as well. This leaves some groceries in the store looking for answers and some out of the store looking for mercy.
Seth Rogan, Kristen Wiig, Nick Kroll, Paul Rudd, Danny McBride, Salma Hayek, Bill Hader, James Franco, Edward Norton, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill are just SOME of the voices that contribute to “Sausage Party.” That should be a clear indicator as to whether or not this humor is a good fit. Those who weren’t impressed with “Superbad” or “This is the End” aren’t going to find redemption with “Sausage Party.” It follows the same trend of humor these creative minds have established over the previous nine years or so. The difference here is that there is an animated filter over the familiar faces. The new medium does allow for some fun sight gags, many of which are seen in some of the many lengthy trailers for the movie. The movie doesn’t have the sarcastic wit and relevance of the “South Park” movie, but is filled with laughs. There are few scenes better than the characters finding out the truth about the afterworld, which drifts the film out of dick, fart and stoner jokes long enough to really poke fun at the world Pixar has inspired. Amidst this and a wealth of racial stereotypes, “Sausage Party” does get clever with the groceries from time to time. Reenacting a scene that is lifted out of “Saving Private Ryan” shows Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon aren’t afraid to pull from any cinematic source. This is when the movie really gets creative, showing everything from jelly to spaghetti in a different light.
There isn’t much in the final cut of “Sausage Party” that isn’t in the trailer. This isn’t to say all of there are only two plus minutes of laughs in the runtime. There are MANY more moments to enjoy. IT does prove the trailer does a fine job in letting potential viewers know exactly what they are getting into by purchasing a ticket. “Sausage Party” caters to the type of individual who loves a dirty joke or pushing the envelope. It is filled with laugh out loud moments that are likely to offend the traditional, church loving crowd. The animation is pretty good and there is a great energy throughout the feature. Normally, a sausage party comes with negative connotations. Fortunately, this is a “Sausage Party” that I would RSVP to again in a heartbeat.
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