Some films can be sold by concept alone, be it one joke dross like Sharknado or something spectacularly insane like Panique Au Village. These movies require no more than a plot synopsis or trailer to inspire a viewing and in regards to Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan’s new animated comedy, penned by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and the gang, this is certainly the case. For if Rogen and co. were all not baked (and we are not talking Aunt Bessie here) when writing/voicing this motion picture, we would certainly have severe misgivings about their sanity. Sausage Party is what it says on the tin, for better and for worse.
Set in the fictitious Shopwell’s supermarket, the film sees sausage Frank (Rogen), starting another day, whereby all the food on the shelves break out into song, hoping and praying to be chosen by the gods (customers) and go to the great beyond. However when Frank and his bun girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig) are chosen, they are thrown into an unexpected adventure, and in the process Frank uncovers the horrifying truth behind “the great beyond”. Blending animated tropes with firebrand satire and simply filthy comedy, Sausage Party is Toy Story as envisioned by a high as f**k Asda clerk.
From the offset the sweary script loads in the grossness and smut and while this will be enough to discourage some immediately – if easily offended steer clear – the film does actually back up its dirty mouth with some very interesting debates. In a film, where Nazism and war are passing gag material and the core villain is a juiced up Douche (Nick Kroll)…in every literal sense of the word, you may not be expecting much depth but Sausage Party does have a lot to say. The narrative dissects the ideas of organized religion, faith itself, sexual politics, and existentialism and even has many references to real world racial tensions (Israel and Palestine in particular). For all the vulgarity, there is also an all-welcoming core to this adult animation and while it feels preachy at times, this atheist animated adventure is never less than interesting or barmy.
The jokes come thick and fast and hit and miss just as frequently, there are times here when swearing is just inserted as a make do comic routine and where the film slips into the atypical stoner shtick that Rogen has become known for. Sausage Party does its best to make you think (and does) but at times forgets to keep making you laugh. However for all the shelf filling supporting characters (some of whom are really there to aid a joke and nothing more) – the best of whom are Michael Cera’s Barry, Scott Underwood’s Stephen Hawking-like Gum and Salma Hayek’s lesbian Taco Teresa - and uneven moments, the film is often funny (even if you sometimes feel ashamed to have laughed) and worth the trip just for the sheer madness of seeing a world where a talking used condom, a food gangbang and a Chicken Run-like series of rebellion set pieces, are commonplace.
Its weird, its wild and its trailer does show some of the best bits but Sausage Party still comes served with a lot of themes, far reaching ideas and a neat 4th wall breaking final twist that reminds a little of The Lego Movie’s final punch, albeit far more self depreciating. Sausage Party could be better and more tightly delivered but for what its worth, the film rewards fans with a stomach for gross out, as well as offering some large themes to indulge in, true its rendered with broad strokes but its still worth feasting on…if for no other reason than to say you have seen it! We’ll never look at a Lavash or Bagel the same way again.
SAUSAGE PARTY / CERT: 15 / DIRECTORS: CONRAD VERNON, GREG TIERNAN / SCREENPLAY: SETH ROGEN, EVAN GOLDBERG, ARIEL SHAFFIR, KYLE HUNTER / STARRING: SETH ROGEN, KRISTEN WIIG, JONAH HILL, BILL HADER, JAMES FRANCO, DANNY MCBRIDE, EDWARD NORTON, SALMA HAYEK, MICHAEL CERA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Expected Rating: 8/10