This adult animated feature is set in Shopwell Supermarket where all the groceries are waiting to be taken by the human gods to the glorious “great beyond”. However, Frank the sausage (Seth Rogen) and his friends including Brenda the Bun (Kirsten Wiig) discover the much darker reality waiting for them once they are purchased.
This animated film is most definitely not for children. There is swearing and crude jokes aplenty producing big belly laughs, that unfortunately do quickly become incorporated for the sake of shock rather than story or relevance.
The tonal shifts as the cutesy cartoon characters are thrown into a horror flick of being eaten by the human gods is both hilarious and gory. As a pack of flour is spilt and food desperately retrieve their parts like Saving Private Ryan’s famous opening, an Oreo runs to pick up his other half, you know this is a film that will not shy away from insulting anyone or anything. The opening musical number includes a Sauerkraut that yells “Exterminate the juice”.
This idea from the mind of Rogen most likely originated with the aid of herbal substances but this doesn’t hinder an intelligent, subversive edge especially on its exploration of religion. The origin of the opening song that worships the Gods and the “great beyond” is revealed and all the extra elements including the Sauerkraut’s addition are met with distain, as they are not aligned with its original purpose. Much comedy is found from a riff of The Israel/Palestine conflict represented by two supporting characters, a Bagel and a Lavash. The conflict itself is not played for laughs, but the characters themselves reach a filthy orgasmic conclusion.
So do not fear any real message is buried under layers of filth and crudeness that come together in a shocking last 20 minutes that I challenge anyone not to gasp at. It was at this point I began to feel embarrassed about my laughter.
The animation is not world shattering but unique enough to create an individual aesthetic to the film. The difference in colour palate when switching between our edible heroes and the humans is a clever tool used to good effect.
The voice cast are clearly having a ball. If Rogen annoys you then this is probably not for you. Edward Norton also has fun with a stereotypical clichéd character, but I challenge you to know it is him until it’s revealed at the end of the film. There are plenty more including Salma Hayek as Teresa the Taco, Michael Cera as a deformed Sausage Barry and Nick Kroll as the villain, a douche. There are also plenty of food based puns, almost reaching the pun-tastic levels of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 but that’s where that comparison ends!
So there’s a smarter veneer than might be expected from a film called Sausage Party but it doesn’t shy away from the outrageous and shocking. The unspeakable elements are what could make me award it a 4 star or 2 star rating on different days so Sausage Party earns a more than respectable 3 stars. It’s everything the title suggests but a little more disgusting and smart than you might expect.