Sausage Party Review

Sausage Party

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and their mates turn their hand to animated comedy in new food-flick, Sausage Party.

Meet Frank. He’s a walking, talking frankfurter who hangs out with his buddies all day in plastic packaging on a supermarket shelf. Frank’s main goal in life is to be ‘chosen’ and to be carried to ‘the great beyond’.

In other words, to be selected by a consumer and carried out the door of the supermarket.

This appears to be the goal of many such talking food products within the supermarket.

The true fulfilment of Frank’s goal is however conditional on being chosen alongside Brenda, one of several packaged hot dog buns sitting on the same shelf. He longs to slide into her bun.

And if you think that wasn’t a very subtle metaphor, wait till you see the movie.

It’s the start of the Fourth of July weekend and all of the food products, particularly the hot dogs and buns, are feeling excited and optimistic about ‘being chosen’.

That very day, a jar of honey mustard makes it back from the ‘great beyond’ and is horrified by what he has seen. Like any good hero, Frank is intrigued and sets about uncovering the truth.

The trailers for this film had me excited. I mean, sure, we’ve seen swearing cartoons before, courtesy of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. But the quality of animation combined with the f-bomb-strewn voice talents of Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera and so many others? It all boded so well.

As it turns out, trailers, or shorter-format instalments, are probably the best way to relay the film’s frat-boy gags.

As a ninety-minute feature, it feels like a bit of an assault on the senses.

I’m a Rogen fan and there are good gags and ideas here of course. The ‘Unperishables’ are a clever invention, and I’ll admit I was inexplicably reduced to fits of laughter any time a certain character appeared on screen. You’ll see.

Yet the makers may not have been confident in the perfectly comedic premise of swearing, Pixar-like characters to carry the film, or they had not sifted through the abundance of on-screen ideas to sufficiently filter out those surplus to requirements. Either way, the film seems to be needlessly laden with endless political satire and about fifty sex references too many.

Hey, sex references are all well and good; it’s clearly that kind of movie and it’s not aiming to win any awards for good taste. But when some witty innuendo has already been delivered and, just in case the audience didn’t get tickled enough, there is a follow-up sex-scene to really bludgeon home the point, you just can’t help but think ‘okay, we got the joke the first time.’

The film’s ending also feels very busy and suffers from a few too many climaxes. In all senses of the word.

Die-hard Rogen or Goldberg fans may consider this a masterpiece but for me, it’s a comedy with some good ideas and talent behind it; shame it all feels a bit too cluttered.

Conor Brennan

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September 2016
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