Sausage Party

 photo sausage_party_zps9nxxlrpb.jpg photo starrating-2stars.jpgThe R-rated Sausage Party is an ugly computer animated film – a putrid, gross-out, lowbrow spoof of the kind of quality cartoon features that Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks usually put out. There are so many levels on which to trash Sausage Party. But I’ll start with the most basic. It’s supposed to be a comedy and it simply isn’t funny.

The setting is Shopwell’s, a grocery store where various fruits, vegetables and other assorted products await their time to be purchased. They sing about “The Great Beyond” a wonderful place where they ultimately end up once the “gods” (shoppers) select them. Can we start with the fact that the lyrics to this song are really hard to understand? I don’t know if it was the sound mix or just the singers’ failure to enunciate clearly, but most of the words were unintelligible. I got the gist of it though. “The Great Beyond” is a magnificent place where all food aspires to go. It’s kind of like the afterlife if you haven’t picked up on the not-so-subtle metaphor. The star is Frank (Seth Rogen) a wiener that wants to be paired up with his girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a hot dog bun.

Then one day a jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to Shopwell’s with news of his experience.  Once you leave the store, he says, the gods will eat you and your life is over. That’s it. Nothing more. “The Great Beyond” is a lie. After being chosen once again by a different shopper, Honey Mustard, attempts to leap off the cart. Frank tries to save him. This sets off a chain of events where several other products fall off the cart. Besides Frank and Brenda, there’s Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz), a flatbread, Sammy Bagel Jr.(Edward Norton), a bagel who does a Woody Allen impression circa 1973, and a Douche (Nick Kroll) who appropriately enough, acts like an obnoxious bro. The display of causalities is like a scene out of Saving Private Ryan.  It’s the sole amusing moment in the entire picture.

Sausage Party is a movie in which the filmmakers seemingly started out with a question, Wouldn’t it be amusing if cute animated characters dropped a lot of F-bombs?  Then proceeded to beat the idea into the ground. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s 2016. If this is your interpretation of pushing the boundaries of comedy, you haven’t watched a film in the past 50 years.  The joy of hearing the F word coming out of the mouths of cuddly figures is already pretty debatable.  For me, it lost its luster when I graduated from the 4th grade, but hey – to each his own. Great writers can make anything humorous, even a cartoon tangentially about atheism. Sausage party is co-written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and like all their works (Pineapple Express, The Interview, The Night Before), their drug-addled mentality is probably funnier if you’re already half baked. Me? I was stone cold sober and apparently so was the entire audience I saw this with. You could’ve heard a pin drop at any time throughout its running time. That is until the very end when a food orgy did elicit some guffaws from a few theater patrons.

This production presents the skimpy plot of an 8 minute short, not an 88-minute feature. The screenwriters toss in some jokes along the way – mostly ethnic stereotypes. Let’s see, a German tub of sauerkraut with a Hitler ‘stache wants to exterminate the “juice”. The lavash and the bagel are mortal enemies who bicker over their occupied territory in the grocery aisle. Craig Robinson plays a jive talking box of grits who’s got a problem with crackers. A lot of weak gags, but there’s little story.  Just a lot of bickering: “Things get better!” vs. “No they don’t!”  As short as it is, I was squirming in my seat for it to be over. If bad words still make you giggle, you’ll be in heaven with this script. If you want witty food-related puns, then go watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. There’s a better party than a sausage party ’cause this Sausage Party do stop.

08-11-16

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23 Responses to “Sausage Party”

  1. Eric Robert Wilkinson Says:

    Oh boy. You may be right but I laughed throughoui. Big laughs. And have enough thoughts on it to write it up

  2. First review I’ve read of this so not exactly excited. Do you like films like Pineapple Express/ This is the end? Just want to see if you thought this single film was tripe or the general catalogue of films these guys put out? Great read

  3. I felt the same thing about the opening song! So hard to understand.

    I can appreciate the themes, thought they were well handled. But like you, I too felt that this got old a little quickly. Not saying I didn’t laugh here and there, but for the relative hype I was hearing, I was prepared to love and ended up finding it meh.

  4. I wish Rogen would learn something new or just go away.

  5. My dad wants to see this, but I can’t figure out why for the life of me… it looks sssooo bad. The biggest mystery regarding this movie is how it managed to garner positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This is an entertaining and informative review, I think I’ll avoid this movie like the fucking plague 😛

  6. I think definitely this script could have benefitted from some subtlety and I agree the story is weak but damn it, I’m just a Seth Rogen apologist. I totally, totally get why people think his act is weak, has gotten old, etc etc but Sausage Party made me laugh a lot. Some slow spots along the way for sure though.

    • Seth Rogen has managed to write some funny films: i.e. Superbad and This is the End. But those have been the exceptions. I really wish I could unsee this film (…& The Night Before & The Interview & Observe and Report & Zack and Miri Make a Porno…..)

  7. Worse movie of the year, so far, for me. I may have chuckled a few times. This was bad. I fell asleep and woke up to a dull unimaginative story. I expected just a dumb funny movie. Not so. I just don’t get the positive reviews. Stumped. 1 star

  8. I definitely agree with you on this one…it could have been better viewed as a short. I found time dragging, and it felt like the longest shortest movie I’d seen in a while. I would have rather them done another film like This is the End than this…

  9. There are some movies I just will never take the time to see.. this is one of them. 😀 you cracked me up in describing it though! 😀

  10. “It’s a putrid, gross-out, low-brow spoof…” Wow. Guns blazing right out of the gate Mark. I’ve heard from a few people that Sausage Party is pretty funny, so I’m bummed to hear you didn’t think so. Your description of the audience as you watched the movie creates a vivid picture of how its humor fails to land. Personally I’m just disturbed by the concept of this animated feature, and the idea of food suffering while being eaten is enough to deter me. Learning that the movie isn’t funny either, doesn’t add any points in its favor.

  11. Watched bits and pieces but the language was pretty tormenting throughout even those parts..thought they nailed the parts of “reality” like how the food thought humans were gods and only wanted to believe the easier way and turn away from the truth that humans actually meant certain doom…otherwise there was nothing else positive id like to comment about the movie.

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