Nov 2, 2016

[Movies] Sausage Party (2016)

I've had a mixed feeling with the sort of comedic ventures that Seth Rogen gets involved in. You know what I mean - a lot of stories defined by juvenile frat boy humor and all that silliness. They can be funny up to a point but eventually just get tiring and feel much longer than they need to be. But hey, there's still a big market for this sort of stuff and thus the movie continues on.

Sausage Party is one of their more recent ventures that is an animated featured that was designed to be an adult-focused movie that assumed an R-Rating mindset. Beyond that, they wanted it to feel like an R-rated Pixar-style or Disney movie.

For the most part, I think they managed to achieve this goal and even somehow managed to rope in Disney favorite Alan Menken to contribute to the music. The end result is no award-winning feature that will last forever, but it's certainly a memorable creative effort.

Synopsis: Sausage Party is a 2016 American computer animated comedy directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. The screenplay was written by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg as based on a story by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill.

In a Shopwell's Supermarket, the day begins with the various food items an grocery products waking up to sing sacred song that talks about how humans are gods meant to choose them and take them to the Great Beyond that exists past the big glass doors. We focus a bit on Frank the Sausage (Seth Rogen) and his love interest of sorts Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig) the hotdog bun as they both hope their respected packages get chosen. The two do get selected in time but an accident results in the two being separated from their packaging and denied the Great Beyond.

The two link up with Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz) a Middle Eastern lavash and his rival Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) as they try and figure out a way back. There's talk of Firewater (Bill Hader) knowing more about the truth of the supermarket that the others do not know of. At the same time they find themselves on the run from a souped-up Douche (Nick Kroll) who is determined to get revenge on Frank and Brenda as he blames them for denying him the Great Beyond in that same accident.

What I Liked: The first act is pretty funny as it touches all the key points of a Disney-Pixar parody as culminating with the opening musical number. It's not quite Beauty and the Beast but it does initially feel to be part of that animated family. The first act has a nice comedic rhythm to it and the jokes come at you fast and furious and of course in quite a glib and vulgar manner as well.

They writers really made the most of every possible food-related pun they could dig up to maximum effect and every now and then one or more jokes are bound to land and make you laugh. I have respect for high volume punning of decent quality.

What Could Have Been Better: This might have worked better as a short comedy sketch since as a full-length movie it just got rather messy. The plot kind of snowballed into this weird escalation of existential angst, religion and even some Middle Eastern conflict thrown in for the heck of it The characters were decent but a true Pixar parody would make us fall in love with the lead characters and I feel like the narrative quickly superseded everything else.

And since the story in itself was messy and quite convoluted towards the end, it really didn't do all that much to help with the lack of character development. We're left with a decent enough ending sequence that was entertaining to watch but not all that mindful of the future ramifications of their actions.

TL;DR: Sausage Party is a fun enough experience but often retreats to familiar ground. Fans of Seth Rogen's brand of humor may super love this movie but without that context it just feels okay. And so the movie gets a good 3.5 crazy food antics out of a possible 5.


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