Rated R for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use
Article first published at TheReelPlace.com
It’s an amazing feat when a movie has the ability to offend just about everyone these days. Considering Trey Parker and Matt Stone have yet to run out of juice on their still-popular South Park, leave it Seth Rogen and his friends to up the ante on the big screen. They hold nothing back and skewer everyone and everything in their path. It is with the utmost regard to say that Sausage Party is the grossest, funniest, outright comedy of the year. While not every joke may stick its landing, everything and the kitchen sink works masterfully in the first true mainstream adult animated motion picture.
At the grocery store Shopwell, Frank (a hot dog voiced by Rogen) lives amongst his fellow groceries where they all dream of being purchased by the “Gods” (aka humans) and taken to “The Great Beyond.” Little do they know, that their higher plane of existence is to be brought home and massacred for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. After Honey Mustard (voiced by Danny McBride) is returned to the store, he’s seen too much, and his life is threatened by the alcoholic Firewater (voiced by Bill Hader). Honey Mustard commits suicide to save himself after getting picked off the shelf again, but not before Frank — and his one love Brenda (a hot dog bun voiced by Kristen Wiig) — have more to worry about than playing “just the tip.” The truth is uncovered, and now, the foods must save themselves from their demise in a winner takes all battle.
As hilarious as the movie is, so are the credentials of its makers. Co-director Greg Tiernan is making his first foray into adult filmmaking after years of working on Thomas & Friends. Second in command — Conrad Vernon — also knows a thing or two about making hilarious animated features having co-directed both Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens — he gets a pass on Madagascar 3 after Sausage Party. And to top it all off, Alan Menken was brought in to score — along with Christopher Lennertz. Why is this such an amazing feat? Well, he is the man behind the music of such classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Hercules, and Tangled. Not that adult themes are anything new for him, he did work on the now-canceled ABC musical-comedy Galavant and Little Shop of Horrors. Is there anyone else more qualified to score a film about anthropomorphized food?
Rogen has brought along his usual cohorts — Evan Goldberg, Ariel Shaffir, and Kyle Hunter — to help come up with one of the most brutally hilarious screenplays of the year. It’s scathing, yet thoughtful. Leaving no stone unturned, they bounce around with themes from religion and race to food having feelings and even get extremely meta in the last act. Sausage Party could also be considered sacrilegious. Make no mistake, this is not for the easily offended. If Deadpool hadn’t already come out, this would hands down be the most hilariously filthy film of the year. But when both films are so funny, there’s room at the top for two. Especially when they’re in such drastically different genres.
Parents, believe the R-rating. You do not want your kids watching this. Sausage Party revels in being the anti-Pixar and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. While we adults may love Pixar as much as anyone, it’s nice to have an animated feature aimed squarely at us. Filled with way too many lines to remember a favorite, not to mention just as many sight gags and movie references to make your head spin, the film has an audience — it’s everyone who may have ever wondered what a film would look like if Rogen was given true free reign to do whatever the hell he wants.
Leaving the film open for a possible sequel just makes me wonder what else he could possibly have up their sleeves that didn’t make it into this. It’s hard to believe there could be an even more outrageous second helping. If this was a warm up, Movie Gods help us all! As it stands, Sausage Party is solely for those with the taste for it and for those who do, will not leave saying, “Please sir, I want some more.” If anything, it just leaves us dying for dessert. Hopefully the box office returns grant us our wish.