Skip to main content

FITS AND STARTS On Digital & VOD December 5

Movie Review: Sausage Party

Raunchy cartoon isn’t much of a party.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

The creative union of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg has produced a litany of contemporary comedic gems, from the instant-classic Superbad to the headline-making lightning rod (yet still curiously overlooked) The Interview. The duo may have ridden Judd Apatow’s coattails to success, but they’ve both done as much to mold the last decade’s comedy scene in their image as their mentor has. The Rogen/Goldberg enterprise hasn’t been flawless in its consistency (the recent The Night Before and Neighbors 2 being underwhelming showings), but these guys have proven time and again that they know funny, and even their misses contain no shortage of micro-hits.

This is what makes Sausage Party, the pair’s hard-R initial foray into animation, so perplexing. It’s an unqualified miss, a movie every inch as miscalculated and groan-inducing as it sounded in description and looked to be in previews. Any hope that Rogen and Goldberg knew what they were doing here, that they surely found a way to silk purse what seemed to be an obvious sow’s ear, is dashed fairly quickly. Sausage Party is precisely the movie you thought it would be, riddled as it is with facepalm food puns and filthy humor. It’s comedy botulism.


Essentially a ribald, foodstuff variation on Toy Story, the film opens with a sweeping musical number that introduces us to the edible denizens of Shopwell’s supermarket, a bustling, multicultural community that is home to Frank (Seth Rogen), a sausage living in a package with nine roommates, including Carl (Jonah Hill at his Jonah-Hilliest) and misshapen runt Barry (Michael Cera). Frank’s package is neighbored--in a curiously unrefrigerated display--by a pack of buns housing his love interest Brenda (Kristen Wiig), and the two of them share a dream of being “chosen” by the gods and entering the Great Beyond, the realm outside of Shopwell’s sliding doors.

That dream is shattered when a jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to the store, bearing awful news of the gruesome, digestive horrors that actually await the food products in the outside world. After an apocalyptic shopping cart disaster displaces them from their packages, Frank and Brenda have to navigate the labyrinthine Shopwell’s world, teaming up with Woody Allen-ish Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and his archrival Vash (David Krumholtz), a Middle Eastern-accented lavash, as they are pursued by their vengeful nemesis, a literal douche (Nick Kroll speaking gym-bro).

If the name “Sammy Bagel Jr.” and the concept of a douchey douche are inherently funny to you, then congratulations on your recent fifth-grade graduation. Sausage Party has exactly two modes: anthropomorphic food makes cornball food jokes straight out of a bad TV commercial and then anthropmophoric food swears and talks about sex acts. The film is so awash in truly painful food gags that it’s almost as though Rogen and Goldberg were gunning for anti-comedy. Sausage Party plays exactly as if it were ghost-written by a playground. It’s the sort of thing you’d laugh your ass off while high as a kite and then immediately discard once you fell back to earth. Perhaps Rogen and Goldberg never came back down.


Sausage Party, with its hyper-filthy content and clumsy stabs at satire, seems to fancy itself a sibling to 1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, but that film’s humor was truly inspired within its foxhole of wanton perversity and incisive in its cultural takedowns. Sausage Party is a movie that expects you to laugh when it names a stereotypically gay Twinkie “Twink.” There are inartful overtures toward such hot buttons as religious faith and cultural acceptance, but nothing that feels especially profound or witty. The film is so preoccupied with barn-door-broad racial stereotypes (Salma Hayek as a taco, Bill Hader doing Native American shtick as a bottle of booze named Firewater AND Mexican shtick as a bottle of tequila) that it would almost count as an act of bravery in the era of Twitter outrage if any of it were at all funny.

It just feels so incredibly lazy, as if Rogen and Goldberg were getting off on the idea that they’ve become such industry titans that they could even get something this indefensibly stupid financed, produced and released. Any notion that they were Trojan-Horsing something genuinely brilliant and incendiary under the cover of insipid juvenilia is in vain. The film does go to a few places in its final stretch—involving bath salts, human casualties and a go-for-broke food orgy--that does inch toward the subversiveness it clearly thinks is in play from the get-go, but none of it wipes away the bad taste from the typhoon of hackiness that has preceded it. Sausage Party is a grossly unappetizing feast whipped up by two guys who should know their way around the kitchen much better.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Morbius: The Living Vampire Film In The Works

The Spider spin-offs keep on coming! With Venom now shooting, an even more obscure character from the web-slinger's extensive comicbook past has now been unearthed, with plans for a movie. Power Rangers writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in talks to craft the script for Morbius: The Living Vampire.

Sony is pushing ahead with another potential Spider-movie, which, like Venom, is unlikely to be linked to the MCU. What it will boast, however, is the story of Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats. The results are predictably catastrophic, and he's transformed into... well, the title should be a clue. He has some of the traditional vampiric qualities – he ingests blood to live, and conversely is not fond of bright light. He can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attac…

Incredibles 2 All-New Teaser Trailer, Poster & Image

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.


Directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.



Discuss this with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms

Please…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See The Disaster Artist In Cincinnati

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See The Disaster Artist on November 20th at 7:30 PM in Cincinnati.

With The Disaster Artist, James Franco transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau — an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable — into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression, and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy’s cult-classic disasterpiece The Room (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend — and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Visit The Disaster Artist WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/TheDisasterArtistFilm
Like The Disaster Artist on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/TheDisasterArtistFB
Follow The Disaster Artist on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/TheDisasterA…