REVIEW “Sausage Party:” More Than You Bargained For
**WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS**
So, let’s get two things out of the way:
- I usually don’t like to review comedies. I think the entire genre works on an individual level. The things we find funny are usually based on personal preference, personality or past experiences. An older gentleman, a child and a physician may all laugh at a fart joke. Yet, a group of cheerleaders on the same squad may each respond differently. So, reviewing it has never been my strong suit. But, this movie is begging to be analyzed.
- The movie being advertised to you is only 10% of what this actually is. It’s pretty deceptive to simply paint this as an adult Toy Story with food, which is what I assumed I was walking into. Little did I know that if they advertised the actual movie, not only would they offend every Right-Wing American to their core but they would devastate every religious sect thinking this is a casual, fun time at the movies.
I’m also a big fan of Seth Rogen when he is at his darkest. Not Neighbors or The Night Before and not even This Is The End. No, I’m talking about Observe and Report, a movie that offered vulgarity, mental illness, date rape, corrupt law enforcement and perpetually made you have a nervous, disturbed laugh until it all led into one incredibly dark punchline that is like a morality test for your taste in comedy (and as a person overall). That is the Seth Rogen you get in Sausage Party.
Now, admittedly a lot of the fun of this is from going into it blind and I don’t want to be the one to break down what this movie is actually about and ruin it for you. So, I’m going to give you a bit of time to exit the review before I dive in. Read after this adorable (unrelated) picture:
**MINOR SPOILERS BELOW**
(Are we good? You know there’s spoilers below here, right?)
I think we’re good for spoilers from now on….
Holy shit! Seth Rogen has decided to drop a BOMB in movie theaters!
And I honestly mean that in a good way. This movie is designed to test your tolerance for open-minded ideas and agendas and it even takes the time to admit it may be on a soap box and apologizes for it. It may not be the funniest movie this summer, but it is by far the edgiest and riskiest.
While “food coming to life” is the obvious surface-level concept, it isn’t what this movie’s true agenda is: It’s about questioning religious faith in society, how it’s distorted and what is life without it. Without a doubt, the film takes a firm stance on how it feels about how religion effects us all as a community and it doesn’t flinch in letting you know how it feels about it.
From the opening ten minutes, the movie let’s you know that it is about faith and that it will curse a minimum of one time in every character’s line of dialogue. While the maturity of the topic and nature of the events is very adult, everything else involving the comedy is as adolescent as you would expect from a Seth Rogen bro-comedy. Subtlety went out the window when you paid to see a movie where the lead female protagonist is a hot dog bun shaped like a vagina with breasts and full hips.
The main story is of a hot dog wiener, Frank (Seth Rogen) and his girlfriend, Brenda (the previously mentioned bun, played by Kristen Wiig) who are unfortunately separated from their ceremonious packaging with the rest of their friends into what is considered “the great beyond.” While every item of food is happily anticipating being selected by a “God”/customer, they must follow the rules of always being packaged, fresh and ready to be selected and ascended. So, when our two heroes are sent into the wilds of the grocery store to try and find a way back to package for purchase, their views of what life is and how things should be clash, which sends them on constantly separating journeys into finding their own places in their world.
And let me be clear once again: This movie lacks all subtlety. They hint at sex for 30-seconds before discussing “f%*#” for the rest of the movie. Every culture is made the butt of a joke more than once (from Craig Robinson‘s Grits character that literally has “Soul” written on the box to hidden Mexican food products that are blatantly called “illegals”). A Jewish bagel and a Palestinian falafel argue for the majority of the entire film’s run over their inability to accept co-existence. The main villain is literally a douche. There are multiple scenes of “bro-rape.” There’s a major plot-twist in the film involving bath salts. There are talking used condoms.
And the third act… there is a turning point that happens that suggests the creators blatantly decided “all bets are off” and that the rest of this movie will be as weird as possible and push an R-Rating as hard as they could before receiving an X. And when that moment hits, you’ll know it. And believe me, I’ll want to discuss it with you. And the intense images you’ll be recovering from for the next 20 minutes.
At the end of the day, I want to love this movie but instead I just really like it a lot. I love that it is using adorable, seemingly harmless animated characters to tell a story that would be considered dark and preachy. And by catching the audience off-guard, it will take advantage and shock you with a few things near the end that I always assumed were boundaries that would never be touched in a mainstream movie. Films like Team America will forever be considered tame. But, on the other hand: I fully acknowledge that this movie will not hold up on repeat viewings due to the adolescent nature of the “bro-humor”. There’s not enough weight there to carry the second act and even in this movie’s short 90-minute runtime, it feels like it drags during this:
But, if you see it in theaters this weekend, do me a favor and wait outside your theater to see everyone’s “gut-reaction face.” That alone is worth the price of admission.