Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon, 2016) – Some food products are about to learn the truth about their purpose.
From the guys behind This is the End comes a predictably raunchy and often objectionable comedy, amusing for what it is.
After eight years in gestation, the passion project of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is finally born. Enter Pixar’s defective cousin Sausage Party, which will leave unsuspecting audiences audibly aghast and possibly outraged.
Somehow managing to land a willing investor, this sausage-starring rated animation turns out as raunchy and juvenile as what you would expect from Apatow’s Frat Pack. For the lot who knew what they were getting into, this kooky project works better than it should.
The everyday fate of food plays out not just with dark humour, but genuine terror in this anthropomorphised comedy. Potatoes get skinned and baby carrots devoured, to horrific effect. There is also a generous amount of meta jokes and movie references, with one searing sequence mirroring Saving Private Ryan.
Further fencing off children, the crude jokes never cease. Dragged-out graphic scenes surprise no one, given an ensemble voice cast that includes Rogen himself, James Franco, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, and Danny McBride. To anyone taken aback by Edward Norton’s involvement, might I sidetrack and introduce Death to Smoochy:
Now, back to Sausage Party, it is impossible to ignore the amusing digs at Pixar. Yet this film is not to be dismissed as a simplistic Toy Story parody. One, the plot dives into a bold religious allegory, making an interesting statement on blind followings and cult beliefs.
Two, one might best be prepared for the unbridled barrage of politically incorrectness. There are few limits to Seth Rogen’s brand of comedy after all, given the likes of past works including The Interview. Blanket stereotypes, racist accents, casual sexism, and genocide references all end up punchlines.
Many of which border on offensive. But while some may be tempted to flaunt their rage, I stand firm on the side of the comedians. As Jimmy Carr puts it best, “I think anything is fair game for comedy. It’s how you do it. It’s the intent.”
It is with this spirit that Sausage Party persists in its audacity for this insane and unbridled adventure, which works well for what it is. That is even if the jokes get too crude at times. For those who are willing to look past the silliness and keep an open mind, there really is little harm in easing up for a good laugh.