Various food items ponder the nature of existence while making as many lowbrow puns as possible in Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s Sausage Party.
This film has a premise that is difficult to sum up in a brief opening sentence but that’s the general idea here. If you imagine Toy Story but with food then you’re not far off in the basic execution of this idea. The main difference is that this film seems to spoof the Pixar model of film making by presenting something that could easily be an idea of theirs if it were aimed at a younger audience.
A hot dog called Frank is the focus here. His main desire in life is to be selected by the “Gods” along with his hot dog bun girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig). The couple live their lives resisting temptation because they have to remain pure and fresh so that they will be picked to go to “The Great Beyond” and be rewarded for their patience. Of course the “Gods” are human beings doing their shopping and “The Great Beyond” is where they happen to live.
Right away we have a film that is trying to make a point about religion and belief that actually manages to be quite engaging at first. The idea of blind belief being a dangerous thing is extensively presented here and in ways that work fairly well. Frank and Brenda live in a world where everyone around them believes the same thing despite little evidence either way. All of the characters are very naive at the beginning of the film and there is some intrigue to be found there.
The film completely runs with this point and uses other food based characters as metaphors for race division and prejudice. For example the Sauerkraut are fascists bent on exterminating “The Juice”. It’s all fairly on the nose but the point comes across well enough and it remains consistent for the most part.
Unfortunately I just couldn’t enjoy this film as an overall experience. I’m of the opinion that comedy is more subjective than a lot of other genres so it’s impossible for me to say that this is an objectively bad example of comedy but it’s definitely not for me. Many of the jokes are insanely juvenile to the point that I was practically rolling my eyes. I didn’t find any of the character likeable or compelling and attempts at humour fell completely flat for me. There were one or two moments that made me chuckle but these were few and far between.
I’m positive that the last 20 minutes or so of this film will be talked about for years because it goes in a direction that really has to be seen to be believed. Again, this didn’t work for me but the unrestrained creativity has to be applauded at the very least. I’ve rarely found that Seth Rogen’s brand of comedy works for me and this is another example of that.
There are other high points such as the animation being very impressive to look at with the visuals giving common grocery items a lot of character beyond their celebrity voice actors. It looks like a piece of animation to be taken seriously and if just looking at random stills you might be forgiven for thinking it’s a Pixar movie for kids. Of course it definitely isn’t and probably shouldn’t be shown to kids but that’s part of the joke.
This definitely wasn’t for me. Some of the ideas on display really interested me but they were overshadowed by the onslaught of juvenile humour. The animation is impressive to look at and the level of creativity in many scenes is definitely something that will keep people talking but I just didn’t enjoy the film. If you like Seth Rogen and his other comedies then you’ll likely be right at home here but I can’t personally recommend it.
- some interesting ideas
- beautiful animation and impressive creativity in many scenes
- an onslaught of juvenile humour
- unlikeable characters
- the whole thing falling apart in the second half