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Co-written by voice stars Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, along with Rogen’s regular writing partner Evan Goldberg, Sausage Party had every reason to fail. On paper, a full length R-rated Pixar-like movie about vulgar, talking groceries sounded unmarketable. Rogen himself confessed this movie took 8 years to make since many studios were worried about the film’s content. I too admit this movie was a difficult sell on me. When I watched both the red and green band trailers, I felt the jokes were too on-the-nose and never cracked even a smile. Walking out of the theater was a different experience altogether. Sausage Partynot only delivers quality entertainment for 88 minutes, but 2016’s most outrageous comedic moments and memorable belly-laughs.
Sausage Party starts practically like any other computer-animated movie, but with more F-words and sex jokes. Then all the products in the grocery store burst out into an elaborate, funny song that’s part of their daily routine, which feels like a sequence straight out of a Disney classic. This moment is the first hint that Party is here to give the audience something we’d never seen before.
Sausage Party in a nutshell follows a variety of groceries that hope to be chosen by customers they view as Gods, without knowing what these customers intend to do with them. The movie primarily follows a sausage named Frank, voiced by Rogen, as he learns of the awful truth: these “Gods” buy groceries to consume and effectively kill him and his friends. Discovering this, Frank attempts to warn his friends of this imminent danger.
While the plot may not be deep, there are plenty of minutiae spread about Partyin between the main plot that will make you recognize this movie’s cleverness. The same amount of tiny detail went into another computer animated movie from 2016, Zootopia. This movie, and Zootopia, give characters traits that are common misconceptions about groups of people from multiple walks of life. One of many examples is a brief glimpse at a 6-pack of Canadian ginger ale attempting to squeeze by Kristen Wiig’s character, Brenda (the hot dog bun & Frank’s beloved), while profusely apologizing in a Canadian accent. The zaniness in Party certainly doesn’t end there.
Party is oozing with character, thanks to its stellar writing and casting. Michael Cera voices another sausage (the deformed, timid one) named Barry, who is on a journey to reunite with his best friend, Frank, after they get separated. Edward Norton portrays a Jewish caricature of a bagel named Sammy Bagel, Jr, who befriends Frank. Most memorably, Nick Kroll voices the adversarial character in the movie, which is a literal Douche. I wish I could say his name was something like Dave or Donald, but no, he’s credited simply as “Douche.” His character is an absolute riot though. He takes on the stereotypical alpha male dude-bro personality and bullies as much as possible, while accidentally speaking in several food puns, which has to be seen and heard to be appreciated.
Much of the humor may lie in the way it steers into the skid regarding racial stereotypes, but without question, my theater roared with laughter the most in the final act. Things start taking a dark turn when there’s about 15 minutes left in the movie. Then when there’s roughly 10 minutes left, the most shocking, hysterical sequence to ever occur in a computer animated movie happens. When the credits are finally rolling and you’re recovering from the high your uncontrollable laughter brought, it becomes obvious why Rogen was so adamant in making Party. Eight years is an awful long time to commit to such a ridiculous idea, yet Rogen and his team of writers were able to execute outlandish, shocking scenes here that they would otherwise be unable to pull off.
Credit is due in large part to the directing team of Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. Both saw the writers’ vision through and portrayed it in such an unnecessarily-professional way. Party had no right to look as great as it did for the immature content it was providing, yet this directing team did it flawlessly. Make no mistake though; that aforementioned immature content is the center of my sense of humor and the fact that this movie could be visually mistaken for a Pixar masterpiece makes it even more humorous. Although I concede that humor may not be for everyone.
Sausage Party seemed to possess an underwhelming marketing campaign with little laughs but delivers 2016’s most outrageous and memorable comedy so far. The cliffhanger will leave you clamoring for the utterly insane sequel it’s pitching. The worst error you could make this year is not only bringing your kids to see this Party, but not seeing it at all.
Need a really, really brief synopsis of this review? Check out my 10 Second Review of Sausage Party below!
Did you visit the Party? What did you think? Comment your thoughts below and let’s have a chit-chat!