Sausage Party (2016)
Release Date: August 12, 2016
Cast: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Studio: Nitrogen Studios Canada, Annapurna Pictures, Point Grey Pictures, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Genre(s): Adult animated comedy
Review Spoilers: Low
There are some jokes that just don’t stick with everyone. I remember hearing Seth Rogen say during San Diego Comic-Con this year, “My barometer for what I would consider controversial has been skewed.” Boy oh boy, is that true.
There is a bit of respect that comes from me, simply as a critic and a film lover, that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have achieved something like Sausage Party. It does successfully check the box of “never before seen”, which is an achievement of sorts. But break away the animated shell of Sausage Party and what lies beneath is a profane and vulgar humored movie with hints of wit and charm.
It’s undoubtedly a movie for a certain kind of crowd. Maybe if I had thrown back a couple of shots, been with different people, time traveled back about four years, I would have laughed harder watching Sausage Party, but alas, that wasn’t the case.
Spoofing classic animated films, Sausage Party doles out a clever take of how food interpret what happens after they leave the supermarket. Rogen’s interpretation and personification of the characters toes the line of political correctness, assigning the most extreme of stereotypes. There is no such thing as a light hand to Rogen’s approach.
Between bath salt drug trips and food orgies, the really funny and memorable jokes are muddled in an attempt at crude humor. The true charm and talent that Seth Rogen ultimately delivers with Sausage Party is the ability to keep me entertained and offended at the same time. There’s nothing cruel or intentionally mean about his deeply politically incorrect jokes — and admittedly, some of them are funny in that inappropriate way — but they immediately fall into the trap of being both predictable and stupid.
It’s a movie that many will laud for its perceived innovation, but there’s really only so many times I can hear a dick joke and laugh before it kind of becomes stale. And while the reviews for this movie are mostly positive, I can’t really stand by this kind of humor or any of the praise that it gets. In the end, about a thousand F-bombs, sex jokes, and stereotype perpetuating jokes later, it’s tedious and you can have too much of an okay thing. When you’re yawning through the punchline of a joke, it’s time to rewrite the joke.
Final Thoughts: Given the occasion, I’m going to throw out a stereotype of my own here: white men of all ages will probably find this movie hilarious. They’ll be slapping their knees and nodding along the whole time. Sausage Party is a very specific brand of humor — one that I’m going to pass on.