Overview: It’s like Toy Story, but with food and dick jokes. Columbia Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 88 minutes.
Preparation: This movie isn’t going to be for everyone. It is filthy, gross, full of bad language, sex, violence, and at one point a used condom speaks. On the other hand though it is not one of those movies that is only going to appeal to dude-bros who like to hear dick jokes and a see Twinkie smoke weed out a kazoo. It falls somewhere in the middle as a juvenile comedy that says something about the world. Yes, there are dick jokes, weed smoking, and broad stereotypes, but there’s also some clever ideas about organised religion, racism, and how systems lie to us. These ideas might not always land, but I did appreciate that the writers don’t seem to be patting themselves too hard on the back for trying. The analogies of different supermarket aisles representing different countries are mostly played for laughs and the big ideas are winked at rather than sledgehammered down your throat.
Ingredients: Sausage Party is the story of Frank, a hot dog sausage, who finds out the terrible truth about what happens when food leaves the supermarket. Alongside a bagel (Edward Norton doing a Woody Allen impression), a lavash, and his soulmate, Brenda, a hot dog bun, he must try and convince the rest of the food in the supermarket the awful reality and save them all. As he tries to save the world/supermarket he is chased by an angry juiced up douche (Nick Kroll in full Bobby Bottleservice mode) whose whole shtick is accidentally making food puns and being a…well, a douche.
Service: Seth Rogen is an interesting voice in comedy. His movies tend to seem juvenile and weightless and yet he manages to make some broad satire that elevates the material over dude bro crap like American Pie or Dirty Grandpa. I doubt anyone is going to look at the Israel/Palestine conflict any differently now that they’re seen it played out by a bagel and a lavash, but I respect the writers for at least trying. All this seems like damning with faint praise but I did enjoy this movie and had a great time watching it, especially the finale which I will not spoil here but which put this movie on another level in terms of how over the top a movie can get.
Overall: It doesn’t quite nail the Disney parody with the same success as South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, and doesn’t get any of the big emotional moments usually associated with Pixar movies, however as a summer comedy with some huge belly laughs, surprises, and moments to make you cringe, wince, and laugh. You can’t go wrong with this movie.
Featured Image: Columbia Pictures