Quoting one of Bob Dylan’s songs – times, they are changin’. Sausage Party is off the rails in all terms, being a proof of how valid this quote is. And truth be told – once in a while, it’s good to lower oneself to such level of nasty humor.
The food in a supermarket dreams only about being picked by the so-called gods a.ka.a humans. Yet, they don’t really know what happens behind the doors of the shop, blindly believing in a story of a paradise awaiting. But by mistake, a sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen) and a bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig) begin a journey to discover the terrible truth about their insignificant lives.
Sausage Party is a nasty piece of vastly-circled criticism, packed in a form of a vivid animation. The script by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir is an unstoppable artillery of punchlines, fired at every direction possible, without confining it within any sort of boundaries. The band of brutal scoffers doesn’t know any traces of mercy, thus the heavy humor touches classism, racism, gender-based discrimination, but goes far beyond that. Therefore, a Jewish bagel and a Palestinian Lawasz become closer than we could suspect, out of nowhere pops out a food-type version of Stephen Hawking (which is the most hilarious piece of the film to me), whilst the whole “sausage in the bun” wordplay gets only messier and messier, only dirtier and dirtier.
However, Rogen and the crew did not want to be percepted hollow in the topic, making a trippy, controversial piece of adult animation. There’s a whole lot of intelligent criticism, cleverly hidden behind low-level, sex-oriented jokes. Rogen hammers the mechanisms behind consumptionism, the irrational inducements behind waging religious wars and – most surprisingly – the ubiquitous presence of sex in modern world. He goes to extremes, but most of the time, it pays off. In taking an aim at all of these heavy topics, Rogen walks on a thin line, frequently losing his balance, but eventually gaining a significant victory. Because Sausage Party could be crude, vulgar and nasty, but it’s also strikingly truthful. As a society in a global village, we are those blood-thirsty predators, fueled by the urging need to gain more and more of whatever we can, aren’t we?
What I also adored about Sausage Party was undoubtedly the stylistics of the animation. It was lively and build a brilliant contrast with the grungy humor pumping from the speakers. Rogen’s team inserted also some terrific references – when a drug addict skin-pops bathing salt into his veins, we immediately hear Little Green Bag in the background, a classic known from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. There’s also a wink towards Desperado, war movies genre and tons of pop-culture’s elements in general. Which is certainly what could be expected from clowns like Rogen.
Finally, the voice acting in Sausage Party was an ace in the hole. Rogen’s laugh remains untouchable and joined by Saturday Night Live favorites like Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and Rogen’s buddies – Jonah Hill and James Franco – the cast was a huge part of how satisfying this movie happens to be. The cream of the cream was obviously Edward Norton as the shy, fearful sausage Sammy – even for that particular role, it’s worth to give Sausage Party a shot.
The key to have fun at Sausage Party is to forget about all the confines we are burdened with today. There’s no excuses and no exceptions – everyone gets their share of the nasty pie that our dear scoffers prepared. Maybe the times are changing, but I like this change – we finally learn to grow some distance towards some of the convenances. And it takes a guy with balls like Rogen to make a movie about a sausage that dreams to be in a bun, right?
What’s cool: the voice-acting, the animation in visual terms and the only-and-remarkable STEPHEN HAWKING.
What’s not cool: the vulgar humor might be deterring for some viewers…
UMP Grade: 37/50