Comedy will forever and always be a subjective art form…but you just can’t be crude for the sake of being crude and expect it to be lastingly memorable. While I can’t deny that Sausage Party had some pretty decent jokes, so much falls flat in this feature length effort that shouldn’t have ever been longer than your average short film.
At your local supermarket, for all the food items on the shelves, life is pretty darn good as they wait to get taken to “The Great Beyond” by the gods (aka humans) who shop there. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage can’t wait to go all the way with his girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig) the hot dog bun once they get out of their packages. However, tragedy strikes and they are thrust into the strange and confusing world that lives just off their shelves. Trying to get back to their shelves and some packaging; they meet up with the passionate Teresa Taco (Salma Hayek) and Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) in hopes of finally being able to go home with a happy customer, but all is not as it they had believed. Their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal and that the gods are there to eat them whole. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies and live a life free from the ever looming fate that awaits everyone in the grocery store.
I can’t lie, I did laugh, but in Sausage Party those moments were few and far between as it stretches a weak premise and layers it with excuses to be as filthy and as crass as possible. It’s a great achievement in animation, but this is also one of the lazier weed fueled goof-offs in cinematic history.
At best this should have been a 30 minute short film, and with up to 5 people sharing story/screenwriting credit you can easily tell that there are just too many cooks in the kitchen trying to make this work. It stretches the idea a lot farther then it could go and the moments of shockingly dead pan hilarity are muted by foul mouth innuendo and double entendres that don’t go much farther than the middle school playground where we all heard them for the first time. The animation was solid but the directing team of Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan really did have to get blood from a stone on this outing because in those places where we should have had some character development or a moment to care about what happens to the sausage or the bun, we get crass political jokes, rampant sexual and drug references along with a fair helping of good old fashioned dick and fart jokes. And please don’t get me wrong, I like a good fart joke as much as the next guy but when they are coming at you a mile a minute without any context it just gets tiring. When everyone involved in a movie thinks that it is funnier that it actually is, than you have a problem on your hands.
Seth Rogan gets to play a sausage and make dick jokes; that’s really all his character is. Kirsten Wiig gets nothing in the basic girlfriend role and the likes of Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride Nick Kroll and Paul Rudd all show up in a variety of roles which are actually kind of fun, to flat out insulting and actually fairly racist which all culminates in a conclusion that you have to believe Seth Rogen tried to get on the screen on what has to have been a drunken or stoned dare.
Yeah, once in awhile I laughed, but for the most part Sausage Party was just a sad waste of talent that doesn’t need 90 minutes of our time because it could have easily been a 30 min special on Adult Swim and been a lot more memorable.