You’ll never look at the food in your nearby grocery store the same after witnessing the raunchy antics of “Sausage Party,” an adult-only animated feature from the minds of directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan and screenwriters Seth Rogen, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter, and Evan Goldberg. No, seriously, this isn’t something in which parents shouldn’t allow their young children to watch. Yes, it’s animated, but it’s something that certainly deserves its R-rating.
The food products located inside a local grocery store all see their pals get taken to what they know as The Great Beyond. It’s supposed to be a magical place outside the confined area they have to share with other products. One particular sausage, Frank (Seth Rogen), has faith that he and his hot dog bun lover, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), will be joined as one in The Great Beyond. As America gets ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, which the food residents call “Red, White, and Blue Day,” the experiences that Frank and his cohorts encounter make them question if The Great Beyond is really all it’s cracked up to be.
“Sausage Party” is a feature loaded with a lot of gut-busting and clever moments. One scene brilliantly spoofs “Saving Private Ryan” after a shopping cart incident in the store causes several items to fall to the floor – creating a chaotic, war-like scenario. It’s the film’s best scene, but it’s not particularly its most outrageous. That comes later on, and will make the “#foodporn” posters rethink using that hashtag on their social media pages.
There’s this feeling throughout “Sausge Party” that Rogen, Goldberg, and the rest of the crew involved were giggling behind the scenes as they were making the movie. They knew they could get away with whatever they wanted, since their target audience was not children – despite the fact they had recruited Vernon, who directed “Monsters vs. Aliens” and several other DreamWorks Animation titles, as well as Tiernan, who has directed a few “Thomas & Friends” movies. But it also has this feel that there were some things in “Sausage Party” that were there for the sake of the film being R-rated.
Rogen and Goldberg have both worked together on “Pineapple Express” and “This is the End” in the past, so it’s expected that their latest outing would have what both of those had: stoner humor and swearing. It does, and a lot of it works quite well, actually. But, at least when it comes to the swearing, there comes a point where the f-bomb is inserted into a line of dialogue just because they can get away with it.
I’m no prude; I do like it when swearing is correctly done. “Deadwood” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” are two examples of media that had excessive swearing, and it all came across authentic. The same can’t be said for “Sausage Party.” It’s there, but it doesn’t always stick. And the overuse of it becomes tiresome.
The voice acting is solid across the board, especially with Edward Norton doing a strange Woody Allen impression to portray a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. Salma Hayek also excels as a bi-curious taco. “Sausage Party” isn’t just present to make you laugh, but to also make you think. Discussions of religion and the Middle East enter the food world, and it’s somewhat of a shock to hear, but it’s also welcome.
At just under 90 minutes, there are times where “Sausage Party” drags with its deep-thinking dialogue, and some jokes get strecthed to the point of being thinner than a soft tortilla. The ending comes off as somewhat anti-climatic, and by the end, you’ll probably question if what you saw was real or if it was imaginary. It’s real, all right, and it’s mostly stupid. But it’s also pretty brilliant, too.