Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Krsiten Wiig, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Bill Hader, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Anders Holm, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, Nick Kroll, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your groceries had a personality? What would they say as they are sitting on the store shelves and how do they feel once they are released into the Great Beyond, aka the real world passed the store doors? No, you haven’t thought that? Me neither. Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill came up with this premise and took a Toy Story-like approach to the grocery store. Frank the Hot Dog (Rogen) and Brenda the Bun (Wiig) hope each day they are picked together to finally leave the store into the Great Beyond. Their friend Honey Mustard (McBride) was a purchased item, but comes back with bad news after he’s returned. It’s a cruel world out there full of bullshit where the gods are monsters. Frank and Brenda are finally placed in a cart together during the store’s Fourth of July sales event, but their happiness comes to a halt when the cart abruptly crashes sending the groceries all over the place. They are split up and strewn in a pile of flour that’s burst open. It’s a savage melodramatic scene as Jelly shatters leaving Peanut Butter crying over her death. Other foods are scattered in the wreckage. Naturally, there is a villain at hand who blames them for the accident. That villain is a broken bottle of Douche (Kroll). Yes, you read that correctly. Frank is on a mission to find his Brenda and learn the truth about the Great Beyond. That is the PG-rated look at an R-rated comedy.
As the credits started to roll, I began to question what I just watched. There’s a studio picture from Sony and Annapurna Pictures about sexual explicit groceries? Yes. Yes, there is thanks to Rogen and pal Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express) who are just two of the film’s four screenwriters. I can only assume they were chemically altered in some fashion when they and Jonah Hill came up with this idea. You would have to be, right? I envision the three of them stoned out of the minds laughing their asses off as one of them pitched this idea. They quickly came up with a script only to wake up sober scratching their heads at this idea. In a clearer state of mind, they contemplate if this could actually work and then set out to make one of the most profane and raunchy animated films to ever grace the silver screen. What else do you expect when you take innocent groceries and turn them into hot dogs having sex with buns, a female taco who puts the moves on Brenda the Bun, and potatoes getting skinned alive once they come home with their owners. Then again, maybe they were all completely sober when they drafted this story.
You’ll know from the Broadway-inspired opening number if you will like it. There are enough curse words in that one number to make David Mamet raise an eyebrow. Some moviegoers can’t handle the F-bomb, and Sausage Party throws it between every other word to the point where I thought I was watching The Wolf of Wall Street all over again. It doesn’t bother me, but I know it can be a huge turn off for some. The first twenty minutes are very funny as you settle in to the type of humor the film is going after where no double entendre is out of bounds. Sex isn’t the only thing as some of our foodie characters also imbibe in pot use and experiment with the bath salts craze. This is not a movie with a profound storyline despite some of the spiritual experiences discussed. It’s based on a dopey concept and ultimately finds the middle section dragging a bit once the novelty of the premise wears off. The finale makes up for it as they take it as over the top, vulgar, and crazy as possible. I can’t even possibly explain it here without it ruining the effect.
Sausage Party is a who’s who of the Rogen/Hill/Franco company of actors. It’s the same troop from Pineapple Express, Superbad, and This is the End. If you’ve seen any of those films, you should know what to expect going into this film. Just because they are playing foods, doesn’t mean they’re doing anything different. They’re joined by the likes of Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, and Bill Hader. One of the bigger surprises is Edward Norton doing his best Woody Allen impression as Sammy Bagel Jr. Salma Hayek is another highlight as the lusty taco Teresa. You’ll either hate it and think it’s pure trash or just go along with how ridiculously stupid it is. I applaud their efforts of just going for it with zero hesitation. There’s an admirable trait at their willingness to go to the extremes.
As a reminder, this is by no means a family movie. Sometimes parents see animation and just assume it’s for kids. They trot the little ones to the theater, make it passed the box office cashier, and sit in horror. This is my plea to parents to not drag their kids to this party. Do some research and know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a heavy R-rated raunch-fest similar to South Park, Team America: World Police, and Beavis and Butthead. Those films look like warm family fun compared to this one.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Only if you need a good, dumb laugh. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS