History often repeats itself. And with that being said, remember the 1999 feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut? The television show had already been called racy and controversial but the movie took things to the stratosphere and beyond. Parents, politicians and everyone else with agendas piled on to shame this movie. How dare someone make an R-rated animated movie? Don’t you know it attracts children? Blah blah blah. Personally, I found the movie refreshing and overwhelmingly hilarious. It’s up to parents to be informed and be mindful of their children’s actions. Well 15+ years have passed and some of those same arguments will undoubtedly be brushed off and recalled due to the style and subject matter of Sausage Party. Time to get this review cooking.
What if food could talk, walk and feel? Due to the beauty of imagination and animation, one can easily explore a world where these things could happen. Sausage Party begins on the shelves of a grocery store where food lives out its days in the hopes of being chosen to go to the great beyond. When regular people (ya know like you or me) go through these stores, we’re picking and choosing who to bring to the great beyond. Outside of the store lies a wondrous afterlife. Well that is IF you believe the stories that have passed down. Some of these foods learn the cold hard truth, the great beyond is a made up story to give false hope. Convincing others of this fact could take a lifetime, or in this case 89 minutes.
Sausage Party features a colorful cast of delicious, and some not so delicious, characters. If it can be found down a grocery store aisle, chances are there’s an animated version trotting around in this movie. Seth Rogen is the voice of the main sausage, Frank. His goal is to be united with his yeasty soulmate, a bun named Brenda (voiced by Kristen Wiig). Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Edward Norton and James Franco are some of the other extremely funny actors to lend their voice talents. This collection of awesome actors is on the same level as This Is The End (2013) which also starred Seth Rogen and included massive cameos. The difference here is that you aren’t seeing their faces.
By far, the biggest strength to Sausage Party is how well it is written. This movie is genius on so many levels. There are countless double-entendres occurring simultaneously so it’s virtually impossible to catch them all on the first time around. Even if by some divine action you are able to, it’s so much that there’s no way you’ll be able to retain and repeat these moments to friends. What I’m getting at is that this is one of the few movies that is worthy of being watched multiple times. It’s uniqueness and pure genius should put it in the category of instant classics.
Sharing the directing responsibilities of the adult themed comedy are Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. Tiernan is known for directing countless Thomas & Friends episodes/shorts/movies. The next time you see the familiar blue Thomas the Tank Engine I want you to think about this movie! Vernon, the other co-director, helmed animated movies such as Shrek 2 (2004), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012). He is also a talented voice actor so he’s already walked in the shoes of those he’s directing. The biggest difference here for the two directors is the subject matter. The subject matter of Sausage Party quite different from anything the two have ever been a part of.
So getting right down to something I really shouldn’t have to say but I will anyway. THIS IS NOT A MOVIE INTENDED FOR CHILDREN. Just because it’s cutesy animation doesn’t mean it’s for kids. All of you parents out there, please know before you go. If you feel your young adult is mature enough to handle it, so be it. As a bit of a stronger warning without giving too much away, let me just say that the phrase “food porn” which is typically associated with the glamorized spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating via pictures or videos should instead be taken quite literally in this particular case. Sausage Party is an incredibly fun hour and a half of adult themed humor and content. While it does have a few moments that aren’t quite entertaining as the majority of the movie, this is a definite must-see in my book. Check it out in theaters now.