Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sausage Party Review

Sausage Party
Directors: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Cast Headliners: Seth Rogen, Kirsten Wiig, Michael Cera, many others
Original Release Date: August 12th, 2016

(NOTE: Once again, 3 weeks later oh my... life has been complicated lately. I promise the releases I see ahead will have a faster schedule... )

On the surface, Sausage Party may appear to be a crude bad idea. Seth Rogen and his comedy crew making an inappropriate CGI comedy about talking food. But actually, its an idea that works to some good laughs and some good ideas within if held back by some of its initial limitations. In a good way, it's exactly what it says on the package, pun intended.

Things kick off in an animated world where one can see both humans and more importantly the perspectives of “living” food they eat (though they are for the most part unaware...unless one has seen trailers revealing a fun twist). Through a mostly saccharine but subtle dark musical song we learn that the food await the day they will be “chosen by the gods” and leave the store. It's an almost Pixar take on things, but of course they don't remain happy forever. The initial crew is of hot dogs Frank (Seth Rogen), Barry (Michael Cera), and Carl(Jonah Hill) and Frank's logically bun romantic crush Brenda (Kristen Wiig). Events transpire to them being separated that starts a quest across both the grocery world and the horrible truths of the outside.
The most surprising thing of Sausage Party is that it has a pretty solid storyline with several side-arcs, character development, and occasional deeper allegories (all within the Rogen-level of dumb of course though so things don't get too heady). But there is some exciting twists and action and actions. The movie does some really humorous and neat takes on the food concept with different themed areas, such as liquour aisles being party zones and Mexican food being in an old fashioned style desert. The stereotypes are sometimes crude but also clever interesting characters, such as humorously and truly at war Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz) and Sammy Bagel JR ( a humorous and surprisingly unrecognizable voice of Edward Norton) or Teresa del Taco (Salma Hayek). It's often exciting to see the fresh ideas and takes it constantly introduces.
Truly the voice cast is a highlight as well. Rogen and Wiig's lead both have many great lines and range, and the mentioned supporting cast brings great effort alongside bits by the jerk Douche(Nick Kroll) , Firewater (Bill Hader), Mr.Grits(Craig Robinson) and many more. Often its hard to tell but they all bring a pretty good level of talent.
Besides the food world building and adventure the other strong aspect is often its humor. It definitely, definitely uses its R-rating for jokes trending sexual, substance related, and racial making the film adult in both its subject mater as well as humor. This can also mean at times the film becomes dumb, but for the most part there's many silly laughs whether edgy or slapstick.

For all the good elements it is a shame that the animation is very inconsistent. Some of the food animations are very good and settings, but sometimes thing look “Bargain quality” This is especially noticeable with the human characters who look jarringly worse than their food counterparts. But this movie isn't about looking nice so its slightly understandable compromise.

Overall , it fits right into the comedic staples of Seth Rogen and once again writing partner Evan Goldberg delivered this time through an effective edgy CGI food lens. There's many dumb good jokes and dumb bad jokes and some smart ideas alongside some “Really now” stupid ones. It might not always look pretty, but it offers plentiful dark laughs and even some adventure. 7.8 out of 10