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Movie Review: ‘Sausage Party’

4158_sausage-party_7870Sausage Party Fast Facts

Directors: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Veron
Cast: Seth Rogan, James Franko, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Conrad Veron, Bill Hader, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Nick Kroll, and Craig Rominson
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 88 minutes
Release Date: August 12, 2016 (US)

Sausage Party is the first rated R 3D animated picture to hit US theaters. It’s about a supermarket where all the food is alive, striving to go to the “Great Beyond” and be chosen by their gods (us humans). Frank (Seth Rogan) is a hot dog who wants to be chosen with his bun girlfriend, Brenda (Kristen Wiig). When a container of honey mustard gets returned and tells the other food items the truth about the Great Beyond, it’s up to Frank to find out the truth from the Non Perishables in the alcohol aisle.

The basic concept does sound interesting, if not admittedly a rehash of the terribly animated and written children’s movie Foodfight! which was an advertising version of Toy Story.

When I saw the trailer, I thought “This sounds like it would be better as a short film” and I was right. This 88 minute monstrosity was really hard to sit through.

The animation in the film was well done (though a little grotesque at times), but sadly this is the only nice thing I can say about Sausage Party.

The first trailer for the film showed an entire scene from the film, and honestly that same scene turned out to be the best part of the entire film. The only time I laughed during this film was in the beginning, when a human character working in the store announced with five minutes until close for everyone to get the fuck out. As a person who works retail during closing, I could really relate to this.

My main issue with this film is its execution. Instead of using its R rating to play up a bit of stereotypes with religion and make the film about how everyone might have their own version of a Great Beyond, it instead wastes the R rating on weed jokes, sex jokes, and terrible racist and homophobic stereotypes. I shit you not, the first few minutes of the film is just the food singing and thanking the Gods, hoping that they get chosen. There’s also a part with sauerkraut and other stereotypical German food saying about how they want to “kill the juice”, accompanied by huge Nazi imagery.

Adult animation can be used to make satirical jokes and make light of serious topics, but instead the writers of this film chose to take the “South Park kids writing a movie” approach. It upsets me because I literally sat there for 88 minutes uncomfortable with the gross stereotypes, a few metaphorical rape scenes, a scene where a used condom was talking, and everyone around me was laughing it up. I was so out of the loop in regards to what was supposed to be funny. Going into the film I knew that maybe I wouldn’t get some weed jokes, but I didn’t understand how cutting off a druggie’s head and seeing the decapitated head casually in the background was something everyone in the audience enjoyed.

Ignoring the stereotypes and bad jokes, the universe doesn’t even make sense. All of the food talk, okay, but so does a a condom and a douche (which becomes the villain?). So can food talk or can all inanimate objects talk? Why do some boxes talk, but the contents inside them don’t? The universe is very inconsistent and isn’t built for audience’s to understand outside of the concept of the Great Beyond.

The writing was also  inconsistent and seemed to be written by a child. I understand that adult animation will have “bad” jokes, but this film wasn’t funny, and I would recommend that most people not watch it.



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