For an animated movie about swearing hot dogs, this thing has a surprising amount of intelligence.
“Sausage Party” is a (very) R-rated animated film about food who believe humans are gods sent to save them, but begin to realize what actually happens to them once they are taken out of the supermarket. It stars an ensemble voice cast, including Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek, among a half dozen others. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, best known for their work on other raunchy comedies like “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Shrek 2,” respectively, direct.
I was excited for this, because I love Seth Rogen but also the premise of this film is brilliant and the red band trailer may be the funniest trailer of all-time, no hyperbole. And while “Sausage Party” is never laugh-out-loud hilarious, it is a very funny, consistently entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking piece of adult cinema.
One of the great things about the film is it pokes fun of every race, religion and creed, so that way no one can call foul. The entire premise of the film is that the food’s installed beliefs in gods and a “great beyond” is a sham and all who believe in it without proof are fools, however it will then flip the script and insult those who question it just because that is the easier thing to do. There’s plenty of jokes about Middle Easterns not getting along and how foolish those feuds are, as well as more racist jokes than PC people will care to count. There are also some brilliant food puns and references, like a Hitler-esque character wanting to destroy the juice (get it?).
Even when the film isn’t making you laugh you are still entertained, as the all-star cast keeps things going at a light, breezy pace, even if at times things do begin to feel a bit repetitive and aimless.
And that’s one thing that does hold “Sausage Party” back from being great, is that after a while a hot dog saying the c-word or a bun making jokes about her buns gets old, and as much as I love food puns (or any kind of pun), Nick Kroll’s talking douche makes so many they begin to become forced (which is the point, but awareness doesn’t excuse it). Speaking of Kroll, his Jersey Shore bro voice gets annoying after a while, and his revenge plot is inserted into the plot purely to get it to a theatrical runtime.
I really had a good time with “Sausage Party.” I never had a riotous laugh out loud moment, but I had a lot of well-earned chuckles, and the film does make you think about how our own world works. Much like “Popstar” (which I please implore you to see) the film is very stupid and irrelevant yet very intelligent and self-aware all at the same time, and it is a great way to end the summer.
Critics Rating: 7/10