A couple years ago, Columbia Pictures distributed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, an animated feature about sentient food creatures. Now Columbia brings us Sausage Party, which is kind of like the latter film on bath salts. It might be a CGI animated flick, but Sausage Party shouldn’t be grouped together with Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets. This is a hard-R comedy that’s more in the tradition of Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Family Guy. As far as R-rated animated features go, the film doesn’t reach the same heights as South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. However, it is much funnier and smarter than one would expect.
It might be a CGI animated flick, but Sausage Party shouldn’t be grouped together with Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets.
Most of the movie takes place in a supermarket inhabited by living food products. Each item is essentially a stereotype with a pun name. For example, Edward Norton voices the Jewish Sammy Bagel Jr., David Krumholtz voices a Middle Eastern lavash named Vash, and Salma Hayek voices a Spanish taco named Teresa. At the center of everything is Seth Rogen’s Frank, a sausage packed alongside Jonah Hill’s Carl and Michael Cera’s Barry. Frank wants nothing more than to stick himself inside his girlfriend Brenda, a sexy hotdog bun voiced by Kristen Wiig. Before Frank and Brenda can express their love, however, they must be taken to The Great Beyond.
The grocery items all worship humans as Gods. Being chosen to go home with a customer is their equivalent to the rapture. When Frank and his friends land in a shopping cart, they assume paradise awaits them. In reality, though, they’re all in store of an excruciating death. Frank thus embarks on a daring journey to discover the purpose of his existence.
Sausage Party actually provides a surprisingly clever commentary about religion that parallels our own world. Instead of a religious text, the food products abide by a sacred song, which was composed by Alan Menken of all people. Although everyone else is quick to accept the song’s teachings, Frank feels that he needs evidence to believe. On his quest for answers, he finds that the song isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The question is if the others are better off knowing the shocking truth or remaining in the dark.
Sausage Party actually provides a surprisingly clever commentary about religion that parallels our own world.
The film additionally tackles everything from racial tensions to homophobia. The screenwriters even manage to work in a steroid subplot revolving around a character named Douche, played Nick Kroll – who coincidentally played another douche on Parks and Recreation. Of course the movie’s primary focus is to poke fun at other CGI animated features, such as Toy Story, The Lego Movie, and Wreck-It Ralph. Sausage Party has no shortage of sharp visual gags and one-liners, although a couple sequences admittedly drag a bit. The foul language can also get gratuitous after awhile. Then again, if you’re going to make an R-rated animated movie, why not go all out with f-bomb after f-bomb? And to think, one of the film’s directors is best known for his work on Thomas & Friends!
Sausage Party ultimately delivers enough profanity, violence, and sex to appease its target audience. At the same time, the filmmakers still work in a great deal of wit and creativity. Granted, a movie like this probably isn’t going to satisfy everyone’s appetite, especially if they go in sober. Even if Sausage Party isn’t your cut of tea, though, at least we can all agree that it’s better than Foodfight.