Sausage Party (2016)

An absolutely HILARIOUS Pixar-movie-gone-wrong with surprisingly-grim nihilism-based religious undertones, all-star comedic cast led by Rogan, Hill, and Franco, and ultra-savagery in (fresh) clever food-related content gags. 9/10.

Plot Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage, Brenda (Kristen Wiig) the hot dog bun, Teresa Taco and Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) can’t wait to go home with a happy customer. Soon, their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Review: Sausage Party. With a name like that set against a black and red poster with food gasping above a cast list including names like Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, and James Franco – you know you’re in for a wildly-imaginative side-splitting laugh fest of epic proportions. And that’s precisely what we were given in this positively bonkers food movie that is perhaps one of the funniest movies this decade: An absolutely HILARIOUS Pixar-movie-gone-wrong with surprisingly-grim nihilism-based religious undertones, all-star comedic cast led by Rogan, Hill, and Franco, and ultra-savagery in (fresh) clever food-related content gags.

Crisp animation in a pixar-gone-wrong motif with a brilliant idea. What is most striking from the opening shot is how sublime the animative wizardry is bringing this canvas to life. Vivid colors, strong textural works, and impressive cinematography dot this surprisingly-stunning piece with the brilliant pitch frame of a grocery store where alive food learns what happens to them through the lens of religion. Everything from architecturally-accurate homages to different geographical food locations from Mexican to Italian to Chinese to American food aisles to mayan temples, drug-induced neon-bursting trippiness sequences, and slasher-like red-eye glowing evil compositions of a far more grim vision of the meaning of life (as I’ll get to later) make for a resplendent visual array that is just as animatively-impressive as anything Disney/Pixar is offering while definitely not having as big a budget for an achievement in visual work that deserves accolade. The orchestral accompaniment is strong too in everything from impressively-innovative and cleverly-written food/god homage songs to booming violin screeches in the horror parts to buoyant airy melodies in the high points as we are introduced and taken on a journey led by its stunning character work.

The characters and voicework. What is easily the highlight of the film is its phenomenal characterization and characters brought to life by impeccable voice acting in a once-in-a-lifetime comedic cast. Seth Rogan, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Edward Norton, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig – the cast is one of the craziest I’ve ever seen for a comedy and rightfully so since it’s a grand slam out the park. The effortless charisma, cuss-heavy brashness/savagery, and stereotype-exploitative comedic gags span the full gamut of personalities, accents, and nationalities and are absolutely HILARIOUS in pejorative ways for massive laughs in a top-notch gag-to-laugh ratio far above most modern comedies.

The humor and surprisingly-intelligent nihilistic religious undertones. As alluded to, the humor is absolutely indescribable. Easily the most savage movie to come out this year, the humor is so unapologetically intense and irreverent it is like stand-up on steroids. It is simply one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen in everything from its light-race-pejorative stereotypes to its food world and interplay amongst nationalities paralleling real -life diplomatic relationships like in the Middle East to its food worplay like “spill the beans”, Native and African-Americans speaking of how their land and people were biolated by evil “crackers”, and tons of puns it’s hard not to “relish.”

Amongst all these cry-inducing laughs I cannot remember having had in this quantity in a single hour-and-a-half timetable for many years, there is a PhD-level philosophical/religious reflection highly deserving of debate and consideration. We are conditioned by society and humanity to blindly accept religious ideologies and afterlife-promises/descriptions without any proof from the time we are born – and who can actually say what is really out there? The film masterfully navigates this tough intellectual terrain through the lens of food products thinking of humans eventually to eat them as gods lifting them into a light-heavy “Great Beyond”, only to meet their demise/doom. While this is extremely nihilistic and dark upon first glance, while fitting in some highlights of first-class hypocrisy from real life like people changing any conceived divine gospel and spinning it to fit their oppressive narratives like responsible for any preposterous anti-gay or racist undertones in some religious beliefs like the foods changing the lie of the song to do things like “exterminate the juice” (what wordplay), it actually highlights a somewhat-happy undertone: do what you want in life and don’t suppress your desires/self for an afterlife that may or may not be definite. I want to iterate that I am not leaning either way on the issue or have time to fully discuss something as complicated as religion and life-purposeful philosophy, but the questions and points in the film do warrant talk about and are a phenomenal touch to add some grandeur you may never see in another comedy like this.

Flaws are pretty much limited the finale – as well as being absolutely not a film for the easily-triggered or offended because the humor is so breathtakingly savage yet hilarious if you don’t take it too seriously/have a sense of humor. The finale though diverges from the rest of the film’s comparatively meeker handling of the comedic stylings of its food subject matter to evolve into an all-out bonkers crash of orgy and murder that is downright tough to watch in parts. Things like showing chopped off heads of people and a guy exploding from mentos and coke in his mouth is downright sadistic and not something any human would want to see – I guess it’s fair from the perspective of the story seeing how the food is having to see that but still not anyone watching this movie will enjoy unless psychopathic.

Overall, Sausage Party is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. An absolutely HILARIOUS Pixar-movie-gone-wrong with surprisingly-grim nihilism-based religious undertones, all-star comedic cast led by Rogan, Hill, and Franco, and ultra-savagery in (fresh) clever food-related content gags, I absolutely cannot wait to watch it again and desparately hope there’s an equally-innovative real-world-entertainment-dissection sequel.

Overall Score: 9/10