Movie Review: Sausage Party

Sausage Party is an entertaining raunchy animated movie with a clever conceit but its weighed down by relentless bro-tastic frat jokes that undermine its subversive streak.

Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage, Brenda (Kristen Wiig) the hot dog bun, Teresa Taco and Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) can’t wait to go home with a happy customer. Soon, their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies.

Ideas that sound great while you’re stoned don’t always work well when the high is gone.

For the most part, The Sausage Party is onto something.

Turning a supermarket into an insulated world with devoted but brainwashed believers is a clever allegory on religion and tribalism. Fortunately, the movie isn’t too preachy and acknowledges that even the converted can be as abrasive as the believers that they deem too stupid to see the truth.

The animation borrows from Disney elements and the quality isn’t Pixar – the opening song number, the epic journey of a protagonist that ends in a showdown, and the mickey mouse gloves. But this turns the movie into an entertaining parody when matched with the insanity of the raunchy comedy. In one scene where the wieners finally found out the truth, a potato getting skinned alive becomes a twisted yet hilarious moment as the hapless vegetable feels elated for getting washed in the sink before the peeler does its job.

The voice acting is great in bringing the foodstuffs to life. They’re believable as anthropomorphized inanimate objects that can only be seen by humans when they get high on bath salts.

It’s amusing until the relentless low bro humor gets in the way of a surprisingly smart and subversive animated film, such as a villain who is a literal douche. Clearly the writers have mistaken references for jokes, like a lavash having a beef with a bagel that’s a jab at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The lazy stereotyping undermines whatever ideas it wants to convey in an attempt to deliver something deeper than its crude humor showcases.

On the other hand, it can be argued that humor is subjective. The Sausage Party is vulgar for vulgar’s sake which prevents its distinctive ideas from shining through, but it could be entertaining for those inclined to enjoy its crude wrappings.

My Rating: 6/10


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