There's a scene in Sausage Party when a human character, tripping on bath salts, suddenly sees food and other inanimate objects grow eyes, legs and arms and, not before long, they start talking to him. This MUST have been how the idea for Seth Rogen's raunchy comedy was born.
Sausage Party aims to do to food what Toy Story did for toys, what The Lego Movie did for Lego and what The Emoji Movie tried to do for emojis. It aims to bring them alive; to give them feelings and their own hopes and dreams. And for the most part it succeeds. Its influences are clear, but it does a good enough job of distinguishing itself from similar movies; mostly through it's obscene adult humour. Seth Rogen comedies aren't known for their high brow comedy and Sausage Party is the same; reliant on being loud, offensive and at times disgusting.
Set in a supermarket, where all the food and products are secretly alive; this film has some genuinely clever ideas and set pieces. A trolley crash near the beginning turns into a scene from a disaster or war film. Flour fills the air, suffocating the protagonists (a sausage and a bun... yeah it's a weird film), an Oreo walks shell-shocked through the chaos, it's back biscuit missing. At times this is a straight up horror film with a no holds barred approach to showing food's perspective of humans. I'd like to talk about more of these good ideas but that would ruin the surprise of seeing them for yourself.
I'm a huge fan of puns. I regularly use them to annoy my family and friends to no end. Apparently Sausage Party does too, its setting and story provides a gold mine for puns and other food related jokes and the film uses every single one it can find. At many points throughout the movie it felt like the filmmakers came up with jokes first, story second. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, not all the jokes land well.
Sausage Party is a highly offensive film that relies heavily on racist stereotypes, gross out humour, sex jokes and euphemisms. If you're Mexican, Native American, Jewish... basically any race or religion you will be offended at some point during this movie. It uses the native country's of food items to give them their personality. For example, we see some German products that are basically Nazi's repeatedly announce their hatred of Juice...Jews....geddit? The potatoes are Irish...because Ireland and potatoes.....geddit?! The local Chinese takeaway is called Pu Ping...Pu Ping...Pooping...DO YOU GET IT YET?!
It frustrates me that this film resorts to this kind of humour so often throughout. Near the beginning our madly in love protagonists spend what feels like forever talking about touching tips. Finger tips that is. It's just so forced at times.
However, these stereotypes do give the movie one thing. Surprisingly, Sausage Party is incredibly thought provoking. Using real world global differences in a smaller more compact setting allows the film to perform interesting, not always subtle, political and religious commentary. Talk of...ahem Crackers "invading" the land (shopping aisle) of Native American food, there's lengthy reference to the sticky political climate over in Palestine as well commentary on the constraints of many religions; mostly in reference to their standpoint on sex and sexuality.
The filmmakers obviously struggled with an ending. The film, which had a perfectly fine ending point, continues on for another painstakingly unfunny couple of minuets. The ending comes out of nowhere and, taking a leaf out of The Lego Movie's book, becomes extremely meta. Much like in that movie however it's terrible, unnecessary and takes so much away from the film. It's just a really bad way to end the movie.
Sausage Party is Seth Rogen and co. at their craziest. Offensive, loud and downright gruesome in parts it struggles to elevate itself above its low brow sometimes childish humour and terrible ending. Not so subtle political and religious commentary however leave the viewer with plenty of food for thought.