Sausage Party Review

“Sausage Party” is the new animated comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  Directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek, Madagascar) and Greg Tiernan (Thomas the Tank Engine), “Sausage Party” stars Seth Rogen as the hero sausage named Frank, and his love interest Brenda the Bun played by Kristen Wiig.  Other voice talents include James Franco, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Edward Norton, Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, Craig Robinson and Michael Cera.  The story is about a sausage who seeks the truth about his very existence, while uncovering the sinister forces that lurk beyond the supermarket.

“Sausage Party” is one hell of an idea.  I thought that the premise and concept alone was pure genius.  I was a big fan of the early Seth Rogen and team comedies like “40 Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sara Marshall,” but as of late I have been completely spent on the raunch com genre.  I have expressed my concerns with raunchy comedy as it has become tiresome and cliched.  However, “Sausage Party” is the naughtiest of them all, and why I’m buying this movie is because of the concept and the idea.  This took that style of comedy and completely flipped it on its head, giving us something new, fresh and original; something that we have never seen before.  Sure the fruits and vegetables say “fuck” a lot and the sex jokes are flowing in abundance but there’s something really funny about it when a hot dog is saying to a bun that he wants to “fill her up.”  I don’t know, for whatever reason this film got to me and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

The concept alone felt very much like an R-rated “Toy Story.”  The food comes alive behind closed doors while having a series of adventures.  Typical Seth Rogen raunch and weed comedy is consistently thrown in your face which works to a certain degree, but after a while it becomes a little tiresome.  But the story and the animation are what drives this little film home for me.  What’s interesting is that one of the directors, Greg Tiernan worked for years on the television show “Thomas the Tank Engine” and the way the food characters come alive really resemble those train cars, especially when looking at their bulging eyes.  The comedy is sometimes hit or miss, but there are many risks taken with “Sausage Party” and it’s something that I wholeheartedly applaud.  The comedic voice talent was spot on, especially Edward Norton as Sammy Baggles Jr. and Kristen Wiig as Brenda Buns.  The voice talent is beyond talented and it shows that they all felt very passionate about this project.

The story, even though it was plain and simple was entertaining and the characters all had very clear motivations.  The animation was absolutely gorgeous to look at and the detail on the food, even though it was cartoon-like and animated felt realistic and also alive, which made me for some reason think of “Little Shop of Horrors.”  The movie isn’t without its huge laughs and horrific racial slurs, which sometimes is just plain wrong.  This film is sure to offend, unless you have a great sense of humor.  The film reminded me of “South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut” and was very much in the vein of creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  Jew jokes and Muslim slurs are just the tip of the iceberg in “Sausage Party” and the violence runs aplenty with the horrific ways that food is eaten and cooked.  The film is very meta, with nods to “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Matrix.”  And without spoiling anything, the last five minutes of the movie is the funniest scene in a comedy that I can remember in recent memory.  It’s so wrong and incredibly dirty but my gosh they actually went there and I was cracking up, while also feeling uncomfortable.

The biggest flaw with “Sausage Party” is the pacing and the running time of the film.  I felt like it was at least twenty minutes too long.  There were scenes in the movie that could have easily been cut out due to story issues and odd pacing.  I think if the film was an hour to an hour and ten minutes then the movie would have struck gold for me.  But there were some dull slogs here and there and moments when I was bordering the edge of boredom.  I think the film needed more edits and tighter jokes and then it could have worked much better than it did.  I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would, but I did constantly have a smile on my face.  This is “The Brave Little Toaster” from Hell, and it definitely is not a kids film.  That’s the other thing, I saw a lot of parents with kids in this film and I felt like screaming at them.  After seeing the film, this is one of the dirtiest comedies that I have ever seen and should not be seen by anyone under 16.  So parents beware, this is not a film to let kids see unless they are older and mature.

In the end, “Sausage Party,” even though it didn’t have me laughing out loud every two seconds was well worth the watch.  It was smart, clever and original which is very rare in movies today.  Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg took a huge risk with “Sausage Party” and I think it has paid off.  The ending of the film alone is worth your dollars.  Never have I seen something like this since “Team America World Police.” and I really liked the concept off food coming alive saying horrific things.  “Sausage Party” is sure to find an audience but in saying that, it is not for everyone.  If you don’t like raunchy humor and slurs from all religions and are easily offended then do not see this movie.  But if you like to laugh and have a great sense of humor, then “Sausage Party” is sure to delight and taste just the right bit of sweet.

Grade:  B+ 

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