Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan / Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera / Animation, Comedy / 2016 / 15 / 88mins
Rogen, Franco, Wiig, Hader, Cera, Hill… a golden generation of 21st century comic talent in the same film for the first time. Since the first whiffs of rumours, Sausage Party remained a tantalising prospect: a large scale, adult animated movie that wasn’t Japanese porn.
Disaster strikes when Frank (Rogen), a sausage, and Brenda (Kristen Wiig) are separated from their packets as a crazed prophetical Honey Mustard warns them of the dangers of the human gods that take all the food at Shopwell’s to the Great Beyond. Things get more awry, some religious hooky is thrown in (plus drugs – lots of drugs) and chaos ensues.
To put it bluntly: love Rogen and you’ll love his latest. The humour is thick and fast, if old skool. There’s a message lurking in the ‘religion v atheism’ core but it’s tangled by an unconcerned plot that focuses on style over substance. But it’s a loose plot that allows for near-freestyle cues.
The animation’s purposely shit – a self-deprecating nod to the fact that the entire film is a group of friends mucking around half-assed with their dick-joke movie. You can tell they’ve had fun making this though, and we’re all invited to join in. Don’t, and you’re guaranteed a tough viewing.
For all the hyper-ridiculousness, the movie can still prove baffling, even for a young adult audience. The ending orgy becomes an awkward joke in itself for its longevity. And there lies the problem that dogs the whole movie – you can only take a joke so far. Some of the characters are disdainful, a couple unnecessary. Douche’s gym-bro jokes get old really fast, and seeing a mockery of stereotypes the world over is heavily Western – it just seems dated.
I’m not going to lie, I was bored at some points. Save for a spectacularly timed Meat Loaf, there are few other highlights to recall. I imagine people will be intrigued by the premise, but you could start with ‘easier’ films like Pineapple Express. Even a feast of comic talent couldn’t save this pretty dire feature.
Full throttle in this action-packed food-centric comedy brofest. It is, as the kids say, a sausage party indeed. This was billed as the first truly major animation to be for adults, but the humour teened so hard that it cramped my style. A playful reminder of how things once were, when it was 2006 and wanting to lose your virginity was a big fucking deal. Teens will flock, die hards will be satiated, but newbies beware.
Film as a film – 1 / Target Audience – 4 / General Audience – 2
Sausage Party is in cinemas now
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