Sausage Party – ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
I had high hopes for Sausage Party, I really did. I saw the red band trailer, and laughed out loud. It looked hilarious, food that doesn’t know it’s purpose is to be eaten by humans, and then I watched the movie. Could the religious and political veil be any thinner? Could they have sworn any more in the movie? Could they make up their mind as to what they wanted this movie to be? Was it supposed to be a political commentary? a religious commentary? an atheist commentary? a teenage sex comedy? a hippie/druggie comedy? Watching the bonus features on the disc gave me pretty much all the I needed to answer “what happened to Sausage Party“.
The “plot” of the movie is fairly simple, a hot dog named Frank (Seth Rogen) and a bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig) have fallen in love and dream of being together in paradise when they’re purchased and taken from the store, but along the way they fall out of their packages in a grocery cart accident and have to find their way back to each other and to their food friends so they can enjoy the paradise that is the Great Beyond. Along the way they meet up with a broken douche who blames them for getting him thrown in the garbage, and a host of other foods that play up just about every stereotype you can imagine. They end up travelling with a Jewish bagel (Edward Norton) and a Muslim lavash who are constantly arguing about having to share an aisle, meet a lesbian taco (Selma Hayek) and a Native American liquor bottle named Firewater, legions of sauerkraut looking to exterminate the juice (say that one out loud….). Along the way they learn that the myth of the Great Beyond was just made up by one of the foods (who found out what really happens when they’re bought) so that the food would be happy and have something to believe in. Of course there is a food fight in the movie, and lots of swearing, bad jokes and sexual innuendos, plus a giant food orgy at the end….
So, what went wrong with Sausage Party, when it could have been really clever and funny? Well, in my opinion, it tried to be too over the top, and it tried to do that on purpose. There was a great cast of actors involved, but there was also Seth Rogen involved. Now, hear me out, I’m not just out to bash Seth Rogen. Rogen was one of the lead writers (along with Jonah Hill), and he was present when the cast recorded their lines. Usually when a cartoon is filmed, the voice actors are on their own and don’t have the other cast members around. In this case, the writer, who was also a cast member, was there for everyone’s lines, and he encouraged everyone to improv. As they showed in the bonus features Seth Rogen was laughing hysterically when people were recording their lines, and he (as well as the friends he brought over) was egging them on. I think that environment caused the actors to push the envelope even more and curse away, trying to get their “audience” of peers and writers to laugh, and I think that really sunk the story. This is basically the same problem I had with Ghostbusters, they couldn’t stick to a script. It seemed like Sausage Party was playing to the cast and the writers, and not playing to the audience. If they could have, it might have been better, but this was very low brow humour to begin with. As I said earlier, it could have been brilliant, instead it was a letdown. I laughed at some of the food puns, I laughed when we got to see the scenes from the trailer where the terrified food is prepared for dinner, but really that was about it. Very vulgar, very rude, definitely not for everyone. Sensitive viewers will be offended easily as they don’t really pull any punches and look for ways that could offend.
Bottom Line: It was too adult for children, yet too childish for adults.
Posted on 17-02-11, in Movie Reviews and tagged animation, Bill Hader, Edward Norton, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek, Sausage Party, Seth Rogen. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.