Sausage Party

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday August 12, 2016

'Sausage Party'
'Sausage Party'  

Somebody needs to start documenting the creative process of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, though I feel it's safe to assume it involves a green herbal substance packed into a bowl or wrapped in a tobacco leaf, passed around while the comedians deliberate back and forth on preposterous "What if?" situations.

What if we all played ourselves, and the apocalypse happened? ("This is the End.") What if we made a movie about trying to assassinate the ruling dictator of North Korea? ("The Interview.") What if we made a Pixar-style animated movie and filled it with as much filth as possible? This final question is what inevitably brings us Rogen and Goldberg's latest collaboration, "Sausage Party," which piles on more "What ifs?" than ever before.

Although, this hypothetical overload is ultimately what propels the film beyond the simple concept of talking sausages and hot dog buns in a grocery store, piling on penis and vagina innuendos like their lives depend on it. This movie is more about sex jokes and F-bombs (even though it's chock-full of both). In a mere 88 minutes, "Sausage Party" manages to tackle topics like Catholic guilt, existential crisis, propaganda and racial tension with fairly heavy-handed, yet hilarious, metaphorical efforts.

The majority of the plot revolves around a religious allegory, which finds the food items at the grocery store learning that their belief system is a lie -- the belief being that when humans (or, the Gods) "choose them" off the shelf, they are taking them to a glorious place called "The Great Beyond." This main narrative, among countless other subplots and sly commentaries, is a constant stream of "What if?" situations played out to full realization... and most of them are pretty damn funny.

But don't let anybody tell you these elements are smart. Clever? Yes. But smart? Hardly. In fact, the politics of "Sausage Party" are fairly simplified and stupid, designed for naÔve stoners who will lean to their friends halfway through and remark, as if they were the only one to notice it, "Dude, I think that talking lavash with the Armenian accent and that Jewish bagel are meant to represent the Israeli/Palestinian conflict!"

For the aware viewer, however, the movie is an endless repetition of head-nodding and going, "Ah, I see what you did there." But this doesn't change the fact that I spent the majority of the film laughing myself into an early grave through oxygen deprivation, as well as probably reserving myself a special spot in Hell for everything I found myself guffawing at.

Everything, and everyone, is a target in the farcical firing zone of "Sausage Party." It's an all-inclusive insult machine. We have bottles of sauerkraut designed to look like Nazis, singing about "exterminating the juice." We have a tequila bottle designed to resemble a drunk Mexican. Our villain comes in the form of a douche voiced by Nick Kroll who is, quite literally, a douche. Our hero, a talking sausage named Frank (Rogen), learns about crucial plot elements through a group of "non-perishables" -- an old bottle of liquor named Firewater, a box of grits named Mr. Grits and a Twinkie named Twink. One is designed to be Native American, one is supposed to be Black and one is supposed to be flamboyantly gay. I'll let you do the math. But, I'd be lying to say I didn't burst out laughing anytime Firewater or Mr. Grits talked about their vendetta with "those damn crackers."

And then there's the final 15 minutes or so, which represent perhaps the most bonkers display of brazen immorality I've seen on film in quite some time. From beheaded humans to bath salts to extended food orgies and interdimensional meta-humor, my jaw was on the floor by the time the credits rolled. Most of the time, I sat in disbelief at how they got away with this stuff -- but I'm so glad they did.



Voice of Frank/Sergeant Pepper :: Seth Rogen
Voice of Brenda :: Kristen Wiig
Voice of Carl :: Jonah Hill
Voice of Firewater/Tequila/El Guaco :: Bill Hader
Voice of Barry :: Michael Cera
Voice of Druggie :: James Franco
Voice of Honey Mustard :: Danny McBride
Voice of Grits :: Craig Robinson
Voice of Darren :: Paul Rudd
Voice of Douche :: Nick Kroll
Voice of Lavash :: David Krumholtz
Voice of Sammy :: Edward Norton
Voice of Teresa :: Salma Hayek
Voice of Troy :: Anders Holm


Director :: Conrad Vernon
Director :: Greg Tiernan
Screenwriter :: Kyle Hunter
Screenwriter :: Ariel Shaffir
Screenwriter :: Seth Rogen
Screenwriter :: Evan Goldberg
Producer :: Megan Ellison
Producer :: Seth Rogen
Producer :: Evan Goldberg
Producer :: Conrad Vernon
Executive Producer :: Jonah Hill
Executive Producer :: James Weaver
Executive Producer :: Ariel Shaffir
Executive Producer :: Kyle Hunter
Executive Producer :: David Distenfeld
Film Editor :: Kevin Pavlovic
Original Music :: Alan Menken
Original Music :: Christopher Lennertz
Production Design :: Kyle McQueen


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