Directors: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Runtime: 89 minutes
If you’ve ever had the idle thought, ‘How lewd could an animated movie about anthropomorphised food possibly be?’, the answer comes in the form of the recent comedy film Sausage Party – otherwise known as ‘How many food puns, weed jokes and uses of the word ‘fuck’ can Seth Rogan fit into 90 minutes?’ The most recent addition to the animated adult entertainment genre, this film paves the way for further mainstream cinema endeavours into the relatively new genre. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, considering the precedent that the film sets.
Seth Rogan voices a sentient sausage named Frank that, like the various other items of food in the store, cannot wait to enter the ‘Great Beyond’, the promised land introduced within the film by a song performed by the food denizens of the store praising the ‘gods’ (the humans who purchase the food). Setting the tone for the shock humour that proudly emblazons the entire film, this musical number notably includes German food singing about exterminating ‘juice’.
The crux of the film arrives when Frank, along with his hotdog bun girlfriend Brenda, voiced by Kristen Wiig, and assorted collection of other foods become turbulently displaced by an incident in which a returned food item puts forth that all is not as it seems (and… commits suicide…?). A ragtag gang that notably includes Middle Eastern food caricatures (voiced by Edward Norton and David Krumholtz) must then travel back to their respective aisles in order to have their chance at paradise in the ‘Great Beyond’. Frank however, now unsatisfied with the narrative put forth by the song, seeks the truth. Food related shenanigans ensue, with a literal douche ‘douche’ fulfilling the villainous role, a party in the booze aisle, food smoking weed and a lesbian taco.
The film adheres to the typical ‘Seth Rogan and Friends’ style of comedy, and while the superficial story elements and even base concept of the film can be considered lacking, the film does attempt to present a deeper overarching theme. While slightly heavy handed, its exploration of theist vs atheist perspectives provides a small much needed dose of actual substance in an otherwise vividly garish parade of obscenity. However, this makes the intended audience all the more clear (if the R rating didn’t already): the young, liberal, anti-theist millennial crowd. While this film might hold some appeal to this demographic, others seeking a more meaningful cinematic experience will leave disappointed (and feeling slightly nauseous).
By the conclusion of the film, any semblance of the novelty humour aspect of talking food is long gone, and the especially memorable ending sequence (met with disbelieving silence, dubious stares and awkward chuckles by fellow cinema goers) just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.