Directed by Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon. Starring the voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader, Nick Kroll, Danny McBride.
THE PLOT: It’s another fine morning at Shopwell’s supermarket, and all the shelves are heaving with joy and expectation as they sing their daily happy song about getting to the promised land. Which is, basically, out that door, to happiness, home and heaven. For hot dog Frank (Rogen) it means finally being able to consummate his love for his beloved bap, Brenda (Wiig), the two having stayed firm and untainted in their shared packagings, hoping and praying that they will one day be finally free to frolic in some satisfied customer’s kitchen.
Only, life on the other side of those sliding doors isn’t all sweetness and virgin oil, as one terrified jar of honey mustard (McBride) is keen to reveal when he’s returned for regular mustard. That all the food stuffs are being fed a load of baloney to keep them from the darkness that awaits soon becomes apparent to Frank – now, how to start a food revolution…?
THE VERDICT: What is it about extreme bad taste when placed in a traditionally good taste medium, especially cartoons? The great ‘South Park’ tapped into this particular depraved stream beautifully, but whenever outrageous comedy hits the mainstream – from Derek & Clive to Bronx Bunny & Teddy T, Jerry Sadowitz and Frankie Boyle – there is something so deliciously wrong about jerkers in the pack that it makes for mildly guilty but incredibly satisfying laughs.
With Sausage Factory, Seth Rogen, fittingly enough, pulls together all his weiner friends for a foul-mouthed fable that somehow crosses ‘Toy Story 3’’s nightmare kindergarten with Kubrickian kick of ‘The Matrix’. Even though it’s about a bunch of supermarket shelf dwellers dreaming of the after-sale. From an original story by Rogen and his regular writing partner Evan Goldberg, plus buddy Jonah Hill (and adapted for the screen along with two more writers), ‘Sausage Party’ plays like a movie concocted, and riffed into shape, at about four in the morning. At half-past bong o’clock, to be precise.
Like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore just taking a sick idea and twisting it until it goes very blue, ‘Sausage Party’ never lets up, either on its shameless puns nor its clever use of world cuisine as geopolitical stereotypes – just so Rogen and co can put the F into those tense UN border negotiations. And alongside all the slapstick and satire, there’s a hero’s arc in there too, along with a touching lust story.
Review by Paul Byrne

  • filmbuff2011

    In development for 6 years, Sausage Party has finally reached our screens. The first CG-animated film for adults is a spoof of Pixar and Dreamworks Animation films, but with the kind of bawdy, raunchy humour seen in This Is The End. It’s an oddball mix which focuses on food – and whether they have feelings too. Why not, if cars, planes and toys can have feelings?

    At the Shopwell grocery store, every food item has a personality of its own. They all live in worship of humans, hoping that they will be chosen to leave the supermarket and enter paradise – a bit like the concept behind Michael Bay’s The Island. Frank (Seth Rogen) is a sausage on a shopping aisle who is lusting after Brenda the bun (Kristen Wiig). They would make the perfect scrumptious couple, but it’s just flirting for now. Smaller sausage Barry (Michael Cera) is the runt of the pack, looking for greater recognition. When Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) returns unwanted to the store, he blabs about the real truth: humans eat food. Horrified, Frank and Brenda escape the shopping trolley and team up with Lavash (David Krumholtz), Sammy the bagel (Edward Norton) and hot taco Teresa (Salma Hayek). They wander the aisles to inform the other products, building up to a revolution…

    Make no mistake – Sausage Party is not a film for children. The redband trailer was accidentally screened before a family audience watching Finding Dory at one American cinema. Imagine the reactions. Incredibly, Sausage Party had to undergo several rounds with the MPAA before the film could be released. As with Team America: World Police, the MPAA is incredibly prudish when it comes to depictions of sex, even when the characters are not actually human. For what it’s worth, Sausage Party is pretty crude throughout, with the odd sight and sound of animated food swearing like troopers. It gets more naughty as it goes along, but there’s a definitely a sense of something being held back – presumably for the ‘too naughty for cinema version’ to follow for home entertainment later on.

    Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon from a script with five credited writers (Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill), Sausage Party is initially funny once you go along with the admittedly silly concept. Most of the laughs come courtesy of Rogen and Norton, who get the best lines. But as the film progresses, the story drags quite a bit to the point where it becomes increasingly tiresome. With the sole exception of an excursion into a kitchen, the story is confined to the Shopwell grocery store. That’s lazy scriptwriting, with a lot of filler material as Frank and Brenda just wander around. It’s all rather aimless, like a slacker comedy, lost in a drug-fuelled haze of smoke. The potential to widen out the story for greater repercussions is a lost opportunity.

    Sausage Party is an equal opportunities offender – pretty much everything is thrown into the shopping trolley here, whether it’s fascism, racism, sexism and various other isms. None of it really adds up to much at the shopping till though. This reviewer felt short-changed and unsatisfied – like after having a guilty fast food meal. It has some charms, mainly the movie spoofs, but Sausage Party is more of an oddball curiosity rather than anything that could get a hearty recommendation. Chew on that, Rogen. **