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Directed by: Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek
My introduction to this film occurred from a post my friend tagged me in on Facebook and urged me to go and review this film.
At first, I was wondering why he was so desperate for me to review what I believed was a Pixar movie. Yes, I actually thought this was a children’s film. But as soon as I saw a Potato yell “Jesus, Fuck”, I knew that this was no kid’s film. I was pretty much sold on this film after that!
The film takes place at a Shopwell’s Supermarket where the food items that occupy the shelves can’t wait to be chosen by the ‘Gods’ (shoppers) to be taken away to the ‘great beyond’. The main characters are Frank (Rogen) and Brenda (Wiig), a hot dog sausage and hot dog bun respectively. Both of them have dreams of living in the great beyond together. They eventually get chosen by a human to leave Shopwell’s, but they are warned by a returned jar of honey mustard that the great beyond is actually where they go to get killed! After learning about the horrifying truth, Frank and the rest of the perishables devise a plan to stand up against their human masters!
Is it a funny film? It’s bloody hilarious! It’s also a very intelligent film, too, with a ton of religious tones added into it and done in a humorous way. It doesn’t surprise me that Seth Rogen was high went he came up with the idea of ‘food with feelings’.
The best way to sum up Sausage Party is that it’s a Pixar movie designed for adults. This is no way intended for kids, believe me when I say that. I can’t help but shake off the feeling that Rogen used inspiration from other Pixar films because I certainly saw snippets of Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, and Finding Nemo here. I’d be interested to find out about that.
The voice acting is top class. All the voices fit well with every character in the movie. I would love to see all of the actors in this in other animated roles. Kristen Wigg was on form as always. Some of the actors play their roles so well I had no idea which character they were. I had no idea that Edward Norton was the Bagel, or that Paul Rudd was the main Grocery Store employee. I actually had no idea either of those guys were in this. They all give great performances, though.
The embedded craziness of the story lends itself to some pretty unique and funny jokes. Ones that hit the funny bones of all not easily offended or grossed out. Such highlights include a bagel (Norton) and a lavash (Krumholtz) arguing about having to share an aisle, a Grits (Robinson) package being misplaced by “dirty good-for-nothing’ crackers,” and legions of sourkraut looking to exterminate the juice (see what they did there?). Needless to say, there are times when the film gets lost in the tall grass with over-broad ethnic stereotypes (A Native American liquor bottle named Firewater certainly ranks among the most egregious). But let’s face it if you’re sold on the premise of an R- Rated animated comedy about food-stuffs you probably won’t be too concerned. All of that just blends off into the background.
As for the animation, Sausage Party is colourfully and simplistically rendered. Again, it’s what you expect from a Pixar movie as it was that good! Each section of the grocery store lights up with a look and feel that compliments the local produce. It’s as though each part of the supermarket is like a different world. After the doors close the Mexican food area resembles a rustic western cantina, the cookware section beams with the silvery glow of shimmering straight edges and the alcohol aisle is just one big rave. Environments outside the store are limited yet realistically depict the kitchen of a stereotype housewife and the run-down living room of a bugged out druggie. It’s the polar opposite of life is like in the supermarket and drives home the truth that the great beyond is nothing like what the food imagined it to be.
The less I tell you about the brief street scene, the better. You’ll understand once you see that scene.
Another scene I want to talk about is the sex scene. Oh my god! I honestly don’t know how they got away with some of the shit they did in that scene. It’s not the case of seeing food items having a bit of a fumble, they really go at it. I’m talking proper full on crazy BDSM shit! I can’t look at a cucumber the same way anymore. If you’ve seen Team America then you’ll know what I’m talking about!
Sausage Party really is worth your time. It will make you think about food in a whole different way.
No doubt I’ll be sobbing my eyes out when I do my big shop at Tesco tomorrow.
Rating: **** (Champion)