Release Date: August 12, 2016
Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Writer: Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Alistair Abell, Iris Apatow, Suga Lyn Beard, Michael Cera, Ian James Corlett, Michael Daingerfield, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, James Franco, Bill Hader, Ian Hanlin, Salma Hayek, Maryke Hendrikse, Jonah Hill, Anders Holm, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Lauren Miller, Edward Norton, Nicole Oliver
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 89 minutes
Production Company: Annapurna Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Nitrogen Studios Canada, Point Grey Pictures, Sony Picture Releasing
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Budget: $19,000,000 (estimated)
If you thought the executives over at Sony Pictures had lost their minds after the initial announcement of Sausage Party, you wouldn’t be alone. The idea of sentient sausages searching for truth was assumed to be anything beyond rational. Then just about when great splashes normally die down to a forgotten memory, the trailer hit changing the perception entirely. Some of Hollywood’s most famous comedic stars decided to team together in a raunchy, R-rated comedy about the lives of everyday foods that meet their inevitable doom. Anticipation shot up significantly, as the film appeared to be the next stoner/drunken feature that allows you to just sit back and enjoy insanity. The laughs are there, the characters are great, and the creativity is much appreciated. But it would’ve been more tasteful as a short film, instead of an eighty-nine minute full-feature.
Frank (Seth Rogen) is just your average sausage that’s cool, down to earth, and wants the same thing you do; to get between some sweet buns. I think all men can relate to that. That’s what’s fascinating about his character, as well as the rest of the characters. All the food in this film have the same desires as humans; which are wanting to be loved, accepted, and appreciated. The comedy comes from their mannerisms and the choices made for matching certain voice actors/actresses with specific shaped food. Some voices weren’t as recognizable as others, but others stood out like the taco, Teresa (Salma Hayek). The decision to link a woman’s vaginal construction to that of a character’s mouth is laugh out loud funny, while simultaneously being extremely vulgar. As everyone on this planet comes in different shapes and sizes, so does the food, and the metaphor used to display such was brilliant.
You would think it’s impossible to go into this film not knowing the level of vulgarity it would contain. Sausage Party is the new textbook example of the word. If you’re one to be offended by racial stereotypes (they aren’t that bad), or crude, sexual innuendos, this may not be for you. The majority of it was hilarious, having most of the audience laughing out loud, but there were a few scenes that were was just too much even for myself that had to do with rape. There’s been plenty of films in the past that were able to take the disgusting notion of that act and make a joke out of it, but that wasn’t the case this time. Besides that, if you looked left and right throughout the film you would see heads turn left and right repeatedly as viewers shook their heads shocked at what their eyes were viewing. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
The hurdle this film kept tripping over was the story. Some may ask why a great story is necessary when it contains nothing but sentient food trying not to be eaten, but it’s still necessary. It was obvious that the film struggled to find its footing to fill in the blanks. The stand out moments in the trailer are slightly misleading. The film starts as you would imagine, but then takes a detoured adventure that is not interesting at all. I found myself constantly wanting to know what happened to the first group of characters when the film focused on the second group of characters. When the more interesting group of characters came back to the forefront (the ones you came to see), it was far too late.
There are a good number of things to enjoy in Sausage Party. One of the best triumphs the film pulled off was the perception of reality between the human world and the food world. It really painted a bright vivid picture on how everyone perceives life in different ways. It may have been the best portion due to the contrast of effects. It’s a movie I’d watch again at home, maybe once or twice a year, but it was still disappointing. Expectations weren’t high, but it’s saddening when such a far fetch idea comes to light, sounds ridiculous, changes your mind, all to just let you down in the end. The profanity wore itself dull fifteen minutes in, and the excitment constantly dragged. Then I would wake back up for laughs, all for the story to again be washed away. At least it has one of the most memorable endings you’ll ever witness in your entire life.