Spewing more profanity than a motorcycle gang and giving a whole new definition to the term “food porn”, Sausage Party arrives in theaters with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer smashing through a brick wall. And then blowing up. Before getting run over by a tank. But what it lacks in nuance, it more than makes up for with sharp humor, fun low-rent animation, and scathing social commentary on everything from religion to Middle East relations.
Yes, that’s right– a hard-R adults’ animated movie about hot dogs and buns (heh, he said buns) somehow doubles as an allegory for the afterlife while also pondering the nature of the discord between Israel and Palestine.
But back to those hot dogs.
Frank (Seth Rogen) is a wiener at the local Shopwell’s market, enjoying his oblivious life on the shelf with his girlfriend, bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig). They are longing for the day the gods (customers) choose him for a trip to the Great Beyond (their kitchen), completely unaware that things like knives, peelers, and graters exist. But then Frank uncovers the truth that the whole concept of the Great Beyond was cooked up by a bunch of druggie non-perishables, including a bottle of tequila (Bill Hader) and a box of grits (Craig Robinson).
Meanwhile Frank’s fellow, er, frank Barry (Michael Cera) is finding out the hard way after being bought and almost boiled alive in a pot of water, while, at the same time, Brenda is trying to make sense of Frank’s wild claims that the whole Great Beyond concept is made-up, as she also fends off the advances of lesbian taco Teresa (Salma Hayek).
Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. And I’m not entirely sure how Rogen, who co-wrote the screenplay with longtime compadre Evan Goldberg (along with Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir) did.
They’ve somehow found a way to balance juvenile humor and sharp satire. Sure, the brand name of the store’s eggs is Fromabütte, and the Chinese food restaurant is Pu Ping, but the writers also smartly have Edward Norton’s Woody Allen-esque bagel banging heads with David Krumholtz’s Kareem Abdul Lavash. And that’s before everything comes together in what may be the most disturbingly hilarious climax in movie history.
There’s no real reason that Sausage Party should work, given that it was most likely cooked up one night during a pot-fueled bender (and also given the fact that the creators do everything possible can to offend– including the land-speed record for F-words in a single movie), but by and large it actually does work. More jokes hit than miss, and even the non-stop barrage of grocery-related puns result in more than a few well-earned chuckles.
Sausage Party isn’t the cream of the crop by any stretch, but it’s far from the wurst and is, in fact, butter than you may expect– a tasty, trashy treat that’s well-worth a bite.