Movie Review: ‘Sausage Party’
R | 1h 29min
by Jason Koenigsberg
For the purposes of this review, the headline really sums it up perfectly. This raunchy style of humor and satire of wholesome family entertainment is something I would have loved about twenty years ago. Instead seeing it at this age and with no real sardonic bite other than a few moments, I am left rather indifferent.
The opening shot of Sausage Party is of the outside of a grocery store and an empty parking lot. Then it jumps right into a song trying to spoof Disney movies. It simultaneously jumps right into the profanity as well. The dialogue is incendiary throughout, definitely earning it’s R rating and is not for children by any means. The problem with Sausage Party is that it felt like the movie was trying too hard at times to be offensive and politically incorrect. Also in typical Seth Rogen style it features a lot of drug use, although this time it is grocery store products smoking reefer.
In a lot of ways Sausage Party is this generations South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999). Where the South Park movie was an irreverent and groundbreaking satire, Sausage Party is raunchy and vulgar just for the sake of it. There is not much else to this movie other than a lot of foul language and the personification parodied with profanity did get stale rather fast.
There are some not so subtle attempts at social commentary with the Middle East between a bagel and a pita wrap, you can guess which one is supposed to be Jewish and which one is Arab. Sausage Party plays on many other ethnic stereotypes including Black, Native American and Mexican, all are meant to be obvious and at the very least borderline offensive on purpose.
Sausage Party does contain some very good animation and I liked how the directors switched styles when it was necessary. The ability to mix animation styles is one of its greatest strengths, visually the movie actually looks good. The script is uneven with some moments that worked and some that fell flat, even the audience I saw it with laughed sporadically throughout. The film does however end with a bang and the last half hour has some undeniably clever moments that are both the films raunchiest and funniest.
I certainly laughed heartily a few times throughout, especially during the finale yet I cannot honestly say if those sophomoric laughs are worth recommending the film to everyone. Let me put it to you this way, if your mind is made up and you really want to see Sausage Party, you are going to see it and probably love it regardless of what any critics have to say. If you are on the fence about it, in good conscience I cannot enthusiastically recommend it, but maybe catch it on HBO or Starz when it premieres.
If you have not seen South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut check it out. Here is the late great Robin Williams performing “Blame Canada”, at the 2000 Academy Awards. You can see how the films biting satire was groundbreaking at the time. I highly doubt Sausage Party will earn any Oscar nominations but you never know.