If you go by the movie Sausage Party, eating meat is murder, eating vegetables is murder, and sometimes using objects is murder -- so I suppose there's not much for humans to do.  In any event, this raunchy comedy takes the animation trope of inanimate objects coming to life and has a bizarre, sometimes cruel, and often stereotypical take on it.

At Shopwell's Supermarket, all the food (and many of the other products) are alive, talking (usually cursing) and moving when no humans are around.  The food stays in its packaging, hoping the Gods (humans) will purchase the food, taking it to the Great Beyond (outside the store) for an eternity of bliss.  A sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen) and his hot dog bun girlfriend Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig) look forward to when they can be together out of their wrapping, with some not-so-subtle sexual suggestions.
A cart crash (and Saving Private Ryan parody) leaves Frank and Brenda stranded in the store.  They try to make their way with the help of: Teresa del Taco (Salma Hayek), who has more than a passing interest in Brenda; Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton), who sounds and acts like Woody Allen; and Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz), who sounds and acts like a stereotypical Arab.  For a villain, there's a literal Douche (Nick Kroll) out to get Frank and Brenda -- and who compensated for a leak by cannibalizing liquids from other products in the store.  Frank learns what happens to food from an Indian bottle of liquor named Firewater (Bill Hader), while Frank's slightly shorter sausage friend Barry (Michael Cera) finds out the hard way the torture and brutality of cooking.
It's... kind of hard to know what to think about Sausage Party.  There are a lot of funny voices in the cast, especially Nick Kroll's obnoxious villain.  ("Come at me, bro!")  The movie also has some fun with animation tropes, whether how food and Gods/humans can communicate or the final showdown.  And this is one movie that isn't afraid to go offensive.  (If you think a sex scene between a sausage and a bun is wild, that's nothing compared to what happens at the end of the movie.)  But the movie also goes for a lot of easy food puns, and it's very hard to ignore that virtually every foodstuff is an ethnic caricature: the potato is Irish, tequila is Mexican, the Jewish and Arabic foods argue and fight about control of their aisle, and so on.  And the end of the movie tries to be meta but pretty much fizzles out.  I laughed and chuckled during Sausage Party, but it feels like it's trying too hard to be crude and politically incorrect, which sometimes feels like it's trying to shock more than entertain.

Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: