Did that really just happen?
Sausage Party (2016): A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.
Well said, IMDB. So I'm writing this review nearly 24 hours after I saw this film, and I still have NO idea what I just saw. Honestly, I'm pretty torn about this one. On the one hand, this film is absolutely crazy. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and co. do NOT hold back at all with this effort. This film is definitely one of the most vulgar films I have ever seen, and it's pretty much just one sex joke after another. But there are some pretty well thought-out underlying themes to our current society which I can appreciate, and there was a lot of care that went into the making of this film, which is better than most comedies nowadays. But, on the other hand, it's just one sex joke after another and the comedy, while somewhat funny in just how outrageous it is, is still pretty lazy. I think this is how we will sum up this film: if you like other Rogen-Goldberg comedies (Superbad, This is the End, Neighbors, The Interview) you will like this film. If you don't, well then you'll hate every second of its brief 89 minute runtime. So, let's jump into it, shall we?
First off, the good. The animation here is noooooot terrible. For a crew that has no experience in the world of animation, they hold their own pretty well on this front. I liked the colors of the film, and the filter we had going back and forth between what people see and what the food sees was quite clever. I also appreciated the fact that they went for it. This film is as hard an R as you can find, and the filmmakers clearly didn't hold anything back. I can respect a film that simply owns its pretense versus tries to be anything more. There was also some great musical moments throughout the film, including a dance number to open the entire thing, (that's actually relevant to the rest of the film) and a sequence involving Meat Loaf that just might find it's way into my favorite movie moments of 2016. The voice acting is excellent, with the stars (in my mind at least) being David Krumholtz and Edward Norton who are both totally unrecognizable as Lavash and Sammy, respectively. But Kristen Wiig (who has had a seriously underrated summer in film) and Seth Rogen are pretty good too. But overall, the most important part of a comedy is is it funny? And the answer here is yes. Kind of. The second act leaves a lot to be desired, but the third act comes back with a vengeance in several completely ridiculous sequences that had me and the rest of the theater rolling on the floor laughing. Man they should make an acronym out of that.....
But, honestly the best part of this film was it's underlying themes. Surrounding all the vulgarity was a surprisingly powerful statement on modern-day religion that featured several different characters in this film. While you can definitely say that these guys could've made these themes a bit clearer and not resolved them the way they did, I really respect Rogen/Goldberg and co. for actually trying to make their vulgar comedy about something. While it's not as.....prevalent as it was in 2014's This is the End (which I believe was the peak for Rogen/Goldberg comedies) it's still far more obvious than other films like Neighbors and The Interview, which were JUST stupid for the sake of being stupid.
That said, this film is still stupid. I definitely felt like I lost some brain cells watching it, and I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to watch it again without a group of friends. The "story" that holds it all together can barely even qualify as such, and when I wasn't laughing man was this thing dull. But, fortunately it kept me laughing for most of the film, and ultimately slides in as a good film as far as comedies go. And, in such a terrible summer blockbuster season filled with sequels and disappointments, this is definitely one of the best things I've seen over the last few months so it's like a breath of fresh air. Ultimately, I'd say go see it, especially if you like Rogen/Goldberg humor, just.....don't expect the world because you are not going to get it.
The Critique: A film that owns its premise, Sausage Party is a vulgar and perverted tale done surprisingly well with underlying tones on modern religion that will make you never look at food the same way again.
The Recommendation: Fans of Rogen/Goldberg comedies will enjoy this, and maybe if you're looking for something vulgar and have 90 minutes to kill it's not the worst thing in the world, but there isn't much appeal beyond that.
The Verdict: 7/10 Good.
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