Sausage Party Doesn’t Have Much “Party”
I am a huge fan of Seth Rogen’s work. He and his crew of comedic friends have a solid track record of putting out some of cinemas most heralded comedies in recent years. You have the huge successes, such as “Superbad”, “Pineapple Express,” and “This Is the End.”
Unfortunately, like Adam Sandler’s twilight years, you have movies that just make you scratch your head and say “huh, that just wasn’t that great”. Rogen’s latest film, Sausage Party, falls into the latter category.
When I first saw the uncensored trailer, I thought it was really outside of the box (this movie really earns its R rating). The underlying problem is that once you get over the shock of seeing colorful food cursing, it falls flat throughout the rest of the film.
The story focuses around the story of Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage and his motley crew of friends who live in a grocery store. On the shelves, they all anxiously await to be to be purchased by humans and gain access to “the great beyond” that lies outside of the store. Only too late, do they realize what their real purpose in life is and it’s what one would expect. This is highlighted with a great “Saving Private Ryan” sequence that was very entertaining, despite the fact that its a trope that has been played out numerous times.
The other main food items joining Frank on his quest is the love of his life Brenda the hotdog bun (Kristen Wiig), Sammy the bagel (Edward Norton) and a lavash named Kareem. Along the way they are pursued by the villain (Nick Kroll) who blames Frank for ruining his chance at reaching food Valhalla.
Now onto my biggest complaint of the film, the racial stereotypes and the jokes they produce.
Sammy the bagel is a nebbish jew (think Woody Allen amped up to 11) and Lavash is from the middle east. See where this one is headed? Not that there is anything wrong making jokes about a conflict that has been going on for decades, but sometimes the jokes can be a little too “on the bulls eye”. Then you have the mysterious “imperishable” items, a bottle of liquor named Firewater (Bill Hader), Grits (Craig Robinson) and Twink (Scott Underwood).
I will let you fill in the blank as to what they are poking fun at.
This isn’t to say that there weren’t some good lines and moments. The opening scene has a wonderful musical score when the grocery store opens, as well as a run in with a drug user high on bath salts. The problem is that the good comedic gems are too few and far between. At the end of the film, it looked like the writers were going for a grand finale at a fireworks show, but it came off as a bit forced and overdone.
This is coming from someone who is definitely in the movie’s target demographic.
Again, I’m not trying to come off as someone who is too politically correct and can’t take a joke. The thing is if it’s going to be offensive, it has to be funny in order to soften the blow and often times this movie misses the mark. The cast is impressive and does a great job of conveying their characters on screen, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired.
I hope this movie becomes the forerunner to such a scarce genre, but for now I would say that “Sausage Party” is a solid rental.