The products in a supermarket discover what really happens to them in “the great beyond”, in this adult animated comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Directors: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader
Genre: Comedy / Animation
Release date: September 2, 2016
Running time: 89 mins
Despite a poster campaign that makes it look like the next Pixar movie, this raunchy animated comedy from co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) is most definitely NOT for children.
Instead, it’s a full-on, no-holds-barred raunch fest that takes gleeful delight in being as cheerfully offensive as possible, taking aim at pretty much every target you can think of and scoring some truly hilarious hits.
The biggest shock, however, is that, amid the mayhem, the film also manages to deliver a surprisingly sophisticated central message about atheism and the importance of questioning the world around you.
Fine comic chemistry
Sausage Party opens in a supermarket where all the products are eagerly awaiting being taken into “the great beyond” after being purchased by customers.
Hot dog sausage Frank (Rogen) is more excited than most, as he expects to finally be able to hook up with his girlfriend, curvy bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig).
But when a returned jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) shocks them with tales of unspeakable horrors in the outside world, Frank and Brenda set out to find the truth.
Rogen and Wiig spark fine comic chemistry as Frank and Brenda and there’s strong support from the likes of Michael Cera (as a deformed sausage who escapes a kitchen bloodbath) and Salma Hayek as a sexy taco.
The film also gets a lot of mileage from having Edward Norton and David Krumholtz play neurotic bagel Sammy Bagel Jr and angry flatbread Lavash, effectively allowing for a surprisingly productive running joke about the Israel / Palestine conflict.
Co-directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan ensure that the jokes come thick and fast, ranging from great one-liners to some inspired visual gags, all of which are in spectacularly bad taste. Alongside the constant foul language, there are multiple explicit sex jokes as well as gags about race and religion, though the filmmakers are at least careful to be equal opportunity offenders in that respect.
Succeeds in making you think
Happily, the majority of the material hits its target and there are some properly hilarious set-pieces, not least the central kitchen carnage sequence you’ve probably seen in the trailer.
If the film was just content to be puerile nonsense, it would still be a awful lot of fun, but Rogen and Goldberg’s central message actually succeeds in making you think, while the solution offered by the bonkers finale (including an animated orgy that puts the Team America puppet sex scene to shame) feels almost radical in both execution and thinking, especially compared to most mainstream offerings.
As laugh-out-loud funny as it is jaw-droppingly offensive, this is hugely enjoyable and superbly written animated comedy that actually has something to say.