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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Movie Review - Sausage Party

Sausage Party (2016)
Featuring the vocal talents of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, and Edward Norton
Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

I'm guessing that in order to really and truly appreciate a movie like Sausage Party, certain psychotropic enhancements may be needed.  Undeniably raunchy, this animated tale takes us into Shopwell's supermarket where we find anthropomorphic food dreaming about being chosen by humans (whom the food believes are gods) to take a trip to the outside world (the "Great Beyond") where they will be treated to the most glorious existence they could ever know.  Being chosen is the ultimate goal of Frank (Seth Rogen), a hot dog in a pack of eight who, along with his girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a hot dog bun in a pack of ten, desperately want to leave the supermarket so they can fulfill their destiny of consummating their relationship instead of being stuck in their respective plastic wraps.  Life is pretty grand for these food items until a can of honey mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to Shopwell's and he details the sheer horror the human gods enact on food - boiling, cutting, and chewing in a murderous, heathen-like way.  This sends the food into a bit of a tizzy and, through a series of chaotic events, Frank and Brenda find themselves outside of their packages and trekking across the store to find out if there is any truth to Honey Mustard's claim.

There is some cleverness to Sausage Party that is undeniable.  Decidedly adult, the film doesn't mince any punches when it comes to the risqué aspects of the story.  While this works for a while, Frank and Brenda's sexual innuendos wear thin after a bit as does the film's notion that simply dropping an F-bomb or some other variation of curse word automatically yields a laugh.  Perhaps I'm just becoming a much-too-stuffy adult, but a little restraint in the coarse language would've worked wonders here because about twenty minutes in, I almost gave up seeing as how all the supposed humor was coming from seeing a piece of corn say "Eff This or That."  Nonetheless, I hung on and while I don't think Sausage Party ends up being a successful film simply because the writers cheapened the whole thing by their verbiage, there are some stellar set pieces that are incredibly humorous.  While I won't spoil these moments, they all revolve around the food realizing just how "evil" their human gods really are and they work incredibly well at providing humor that isn't necessarily coarse-language-based.

I realize I may be coming off as a bit of a prude and that's not my intention with this review.  I drop F-bombs often...but there's such a thing as moderation.  Impact is lost when that's your only way of trying to be humorous.  In the end, this hurt Sausage Party overall for me.  Despite some clever moments and some rather ingenious set pieces, there were too many lulls where the writers thought they were being funny, but really weren't.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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