Monday, October 17, 2016

Sausage Party (2016)

Review #1,356






THE SCOOP
Director:  Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon
Cast:  Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek
Plot:  A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.

Genre:  Animation / Adventure / Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  89min
Rating:  R21 (with cuts) for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use.
Distributor:  Sony Pictures

IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
“Where's the f---ing sausage?”

Sausage Party has been on my radar ever since it was announced, not because it is my cup of tea, but that its premise suggests something revolutionary in the context of mainstream Hollywood animation—we would finally get the raunchy R-rated title that we deserve.  To add on, I was once a huge fan of this television cartoon from the early noughties called ‘The Babaloos', where normally inanimate objects at home would come alive when humans are asleep. 

Sausage Party loosely puts that idea into practice on food, in particular a mega-supermarket housing countless aisles of perishables.  One of them, Frank (Seth Rogen), a sausage who finds himself in a precarious position of discovering the brutal truth of his existence—and essentially everyone else’s—and attempting to warn about the great lie that has blinded all of them.

Sausage Party is about believing that mindsets can be changed.  These food items believe in ‘The Great Beyond’, where the Gods (humans) would bring them to live happily in eternity.  The reality is that they are leaving the supermarket into the hell of chopping boards, boiling pots and frying pans. 

Frank’s tumultuous journey sees him encounter an assortment of different foods—most of which are stereotyped both culturally and racially.  There’s a load of politically incorrect stuff going on, and the filmmakers have no qualms going on the offensive.  It is also utterly sexual—there’s homoeroticism, sex-related dialogue that you could see coming, and an orgy to end all orgies.  Watching food having sex is just about the ultimate anti-aphrodisiac ever conceived.

The novelty of seeing such a raunchy adult animation wears off pretty quickly, but you are in for a mixed bag of both good and meh chips.  The movie is no doubt funny, and at least you will have an acid trip while it lasts.  The best sequence in Sausage Party involves a human on a recreational drug so powerful that, to his horror, he could converse with his food.  Still, some of the jokes get too repetitive, or that the countless F-bombs get so lost in the mix that when there should be a point of dramatic-cum-comedic emphasis, things get irksome. 

It may be interesting to some that Greg Tiernan, one of the animation’s co-directors, spent nearly all of his directorial career making ‘Thomas & Friends’ cartoons.  What a coming-of-age story indeed.  Please pardon all the sexual puns—so stimulating and pretentious aren’t they?

Verdict:  The novelty of seeing a raunchy, utterly sexual and politically incorrect R-rated animation wears off pretty quickly, but you are in for a mixed bag of both good and meh chips.

GRADE: C+






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