Film Review: "Sausage Party"
For parents who were unsure about whether this film was for children, the title pointed to a subtle, “NO.” Names are important. And that’s why this animated feature — a type of movie usually reserved for children — was presented with a name that referenced a celebration of genitalia. Based on this alone, many movie-goers, including myself, went to see it. I knew it was going to be hilarious. And it truly was.
This movie is funny, but not in the uproarious-laughter sort of way. It’s more like a, “What in the world is going on? What am I watching?” sort of funny. It tells the story of a sausage (Seth Rogan) and his sidekicks who all want to be purchased by a shopper and leave the grocery store— dubbed "The Great Beyond." With Fourth of July holiday weekend coming up, the potty-mouthed foods are even more excited to be dropped into the grocery cart of a human (who they believe are gods.)
Witty lines are sprinkled throughout the film that’ll make you chuckle or laugh outright. At one point, a pizza slice says, “Look at me! Look at me! I ain't got no legs, you f*ck! You ate my goddamn legs!” I would have been disappointed, truly, if a line like that hadn’t made it into a movie like this. There are some expectations to uphold!
The movie gets wilder and wilder as it progresses, increasing in ambition. So in order to continue watching, you have to suspend your beliefs. (Although it’s not as if you weren’t suspending your beliefs already when faced with the suggestion of humanized food.) Aside from the movie’s main concept of talking food, the movie’s personification of those foods as specific demographic groups made it more interesting and familiar to viewers. Still, the film's use of stereotypical representation somehow managed to be surprisingly tame, for most of the movie anyway. Near the end, all of the established patterns of the foods were thrown out the window. Yet somehow, everything was still believable.
The animation was nothing special: It was bright, colorful and simple. The scenes were done well, in that each aisle had its own theme. The graphic manner in which eaten food was presented was hysterical but also semi-grotesque and frightening. There are times throughout the movie where you laugh because of the presented image, but realize on another level, that this is what massacres look like. This movie could be classified as a dark comedy. The plot line was easy to follow and clear, albeit surprising at times as mentioned earlier. It followed a natural dynamic upwards to the climax.
Let me tell you now that the climax is where expectations get shredded. It was a simple, yet offensive way to end the movie. The movie lays out and substantiates its themes throughout its screen time. Then, it promptly tears up the themes like the scene from Spongebob where Spongebob’s memory throws out all the information his mind holds, including his own name. To be honest, the entirety of this movie is expected from Seth Rogan. This is just the sort of comedy he does. And with Jonah Hill on the team too, I expected better comedy than slapstick, which is exactly what I got. This movie is worth seeing, as it ranks a little below other animated comedies of the year ("Zootopia," "Finding Dory," etc.), but it can still hold its own quite well.