Is it too early to award Sausage Party with the ‘Most F****d Up Movie of 2016’ award? If not, I’m calling it.
Sausage Party is exactly what the trailer for this movie suggests. Although it looks like your every day Pixar animated movie, Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s addition to the animation genre is as far away from your expectations than you could ever find possible. It tells the story of the anthropomorphised Frank and his fellow food-buddies, all occupants of the same supermarket being held hopeful of being selected by us humans to bring them along to a ‘greater’ world. Sadly, it’s not good news for you tasty folk. Along the way, Frank (Seth Rogan), the sausage that brings the party, is accompanied by his destined lover and hot-dog bread bun Brenda (Kirsten Wiig) and other food-based companions, all of which discover that their lives aren’t as straightforward as they initially thought.
Right off the bat, this film does not take itself seriously, and if anything, it’s extremely self-aware. It brings forth a straightforward narrative that funnily enough defies expectations, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Simply put, if you’re going into this movie with the hope that it’s going to be a courageous tale of a sausage embarking on a journey for the truth filled with heart-wrenching emotion, you’re going to be disappointed or even disgusted. If, however, you’re going into this movie with the notion that Sausage Party is going to deliver some solid laughs followed by some profanity, you may actually enjoy it.
I was one of those people. Yeah, the movie is absurd, but it’s also very imaginative, too. There are some inventive ideas being showcased here and there, and you can’t help but think, “you know what, that’s pretty clever”, especially when you’re considering the diverse amount of characters on display. The asshole ‘douche’, immortal Twinkies, and Meat Loaf inspired meat loaf are only a few of these shrewd options to choose from, and depending on what pre-conceptions you’ve made about the movie, you’ll either find them quite smart or downright daft.
Despite Sausage Party‘s on the surface simplicity, the movie also questions and actively challenges the idea of a God and ambiguity surrounding ‘the Great Beyond’. The whole atheism vs. religion debate has been marginally avoided in film over recent years but this idea is totally embraced here. The narrative tailors around the rebellion from the hierarchal hold that religion places over society and I have to give props to the movie for challenging such a controversial topic. And controversial this film definitely is.
Talking about controversy, there’s a particular scene in the third act of this movie, and you’ll know it when you see it, that I’d like to discuss. Yeah, THAT scene. Any care for what the audience think up to this point is propelled out the window and it’s absolutely bat-shit crazy. The screening in which I attended was split 50-50, one half hysterically bursting with laughter and the other half just looking away in disgust. I, controversially enough, found it hilarious. Even if you hate it, this type of crude, animated humour is revolutionary. We’ve never seen anything like it, it totally blew my mind at how graphic and militant it was in its presentation of these activities. Again, you’re either going to find this disgusting, or you’re going to applaud the movie for its total lack of censorship.
Sausage Party is, however, undeniably racist. The amount of grotesque stereotypes being reinforced are simply mind-boggling. You’ve got the ‘cracker’ hating Mr. Grits, the Jewish Bagel, the Nazi German sauerkraut and plenty of others to cringe at, and the film doesn’t hold back on throwing these stereotypes in your face. What’s most worrying is that these racial stereotypes aren’t placed here or there, the movie heavily relies on them to bring out the most laughs. The movie also falls on the bandwagon of having the mindset that dropping F-bombs in every sentence results in laughs from viewers, which in truth, wore off 30 minutes into the movie. The shock-value of the incessant need to throw a swear into every piece of dialogue became paper thin as the film progressed, something that could have easily been avoided.
This movie is going to split a crowd. Either you’ll love it, or you’ll hate it. But would I recommend it? If you’re thinking of taking a sweet, innocent Catholic girl or even a family member as your companion – then absolutely not. If, however, you’re thinking of going with a trusty pal who has the same, raunchy sense of humour that you may have – then go ahead, you’ll have a blast.
Hilarious…if you’ve got the stomach for it!