Director(s): Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton (all voice)
The film which might seem like a joke on paper, is finally here! This very adult animated comedy is the brainchild of comedic actor Seth Rogen, and whilst the visuals might be very kid-friendly, this is definitely not a film for all the family.
What this film absolutely nails is the characterisation, and for me this was how it got the biggest laughs. The way it portrays each character and type of food, and the way it plays on stereotypes, is nothing short of genius. Sure, some will think of it as offensive, but trust me, the stereotyping is the least offensive part of this movie. There’s some great background visual gags, so it is worth keeping one eye on the background of the shot at all times.
The voice cast is brilliant, each perfectly suiting the character. My absolute favourite though, was Edward Norton as the Bagel. I love Edward Norton anyway, so it’s really fun to have him voicing an animated character, and particularly one in a film such as this.
It’s seen briefly in the trailer, but the ‘Saving Private Ryan’ inspired scene is hilarious, and I liked the way this film also took cues from horror movies to show some pretty gruesome stuff, made even funnier by the fact it involves food. There’s a lot of promising stuff here, and whilst it undoubtedly made me laugh in places, I grew increasingly frustrated by the fact it didn’t deliver on all of its promises, and sadly it didn’t follow through on a lot of the ideas which could’ve made it great.
If you’ll pardon the pun, ‘Sausage Party’ just seems a little under-cooked. There’s some great ideas at work here, but for everything which lands, there were a multitude of things which didn’t. I understand it is Rogen’s brand, but the excessive use of swearing and the constant reliance on innuendo just came across as lazy. It was funny in places, but when the entire premise for this film rests on the idea that a sausage saying “fuck” is completely hilarious, there are undoubtedly going to be issues the further along you go. The plot also seemed really uninspired, and it was too focused on making some grand point about religion and belief systems, that it almost forgot it needed to be a film as well. Had it fully committed to the things it was trying to put across, and presented an interesting and engaging storyline as well, then I would’ve been more forgiving, but sadly it just attempted to mask the thematic and narrative weaknesses with more swearing, and more innuendo.
There is one scene which everyone is talking about, which I won’t spoil, but you’ll either think it is the funniest thing you have ever seen, or will wish you could unsee it immediately. I reside in the latter camp, however I have to applaud the fact they were able to get a scene like this into the finished film. It is truly outrageous, and I imagine this film will be able to find an audience based on the word-of-mouth hype surrounding this scene alone.
To sum it up, a lot of promise, some really funny moments, but as a film ‘Sausage Party’ is a bit of a shambles. If Rogen’s comedy is right up your street, then you’ll undoubtedly appreciate a lot of this film, but it won’t convince those who are sitting on the fence.