(To celebrate the release of Sausage Party, we’re cramming as many food-related puns as possible in this review. Dill with it.)
Mix together the writers and stars of movies like Superbad, Pineapple Express, and This is the End into an animated, R-rated, food fest, and what do you get? A cartoon comedy filled to the brim with outrageous jokes and food puns that’ll meet olive your eggspectations.
The premise is simple: what if food… had feelings? The main character Frank (a sausage, voiced by Seth Rogen) and his girlfriend Brenda (a bun, voiced by Kristin Wiig) are excited to head to “The Great Beyond” outside the supermarket. Frank begins to question the legitimacy of “The Great Beyond” and the humans they call Gods after a jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride) commits suicide by leaping from the edge of a shopping cart rather than return to the outside world. He goes on a quest to find out the truth, aided by an ensemble comedy cast that’s one of the best of all thyme: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, David Krumholtz, and Salma Hayek — to name a few.
One of the first things I noticed was that it wasn’t just a smorgasbord of dirty jokes – it’s a movie on-par with a Pixar production. The quality of the film is something that co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg said was important to them, and it shows. The animation is seamless, besides an opening song from the point of view of each type of food that becomes dizzying as it zips up, down, and around each shelf.
The writers take all the cheap shots with their jokes. When the antagonist, a literal douche voiced by Nick Kroll, comes up with an evil plan, he proclaims, “lightbulb!”… Only for a lightbulb to show up. That joke is recycled throughout: “Okay, so…” he says, and some queso cheese comes out from behind a shelf. But who am I to dismiss the hilarity of a well-placed pun?
Anyone heading to theaters to sashimi (okay, I admit that one was a stretch) this movie should know what to expect – you go to laugh, not to analyze hidden symbolism. And with that goal in mind, it totally succeeds. The concept is so strange, and the tone so outrageous (you’ll be caught off guard as you hear Michael Cera’s character, a deformed and cowardly hot dog, fire off curse words), that the quick succession of jokes will continue to work throughout the film. As one of my co-workers said: “It’s Toy Story meets Pineapple Express.”
The movie has flaws: the villain is kind of forgettable, besides one eyebrow-raising scene with a juice box; although I was kept entertained through the 1 hour, 30 minute movie I can’t remember my favorite part; and the possibility of a sequel leaves me with logistic questions probably better left unasked like – “Aren’t these foods going to expire soon?” But its strengths more than outweigh these things to make it a worthwhile watch.
Sausage Party shines brightest when it isn’t trying hard to be serious. It glazes over bigger issues like racial tension and religion without much resolve, but works best with its shock comedy that comes to fruit-ion with a closing montage of what can only be described as an “R-rated food fight.”
So, have you seen Sausage Party yet? What did you think? Taco bout it in the comments below.
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