COLUMBIA PICTURES (2016)

Directors: Conrad Vernon / Greg Tiernan

Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, James Franco, Paul Rudd

Sausage Party is definitely not an animated movie to let your kids see! The movie is filled with swearing throughout, and in your face (literally) sexual references (and a massive orgy) this is food with serious attitude. Seth Rogen and co. bring their usual brand of comedy to the proceedings – no holds barred, over the top and, at times, genuinely funny. You will find a deformed frankfurter Barry (Cera), a bath salt injecting druggie (Franco), a Stephen Hawking-esque wheelchair bound piece of Gum (Scott Underwood), hash smoking non-perishables and a band of Mexican food items in their saloon. Basically, a lot of stereotypes, but funny enough to get away with it.

The character of Frank is entertaining as the film’s main ‘lead’ (he’s a frankfurter...) and Rogen delivers a great voice performance of a sausage trying to find the truth in life and the Great Beyond. He is in his element here and provides a sure performance, as does Wiig - the sexy hot dog bun who wants her sausage, a kind bun who will fight until the end, especially as she is lusted over by the sultry Teresa the Taco (Hayek). All of the characters throughout were voiced well, as I’d expect, and Douche provides a violent, fitting antagonist for our food heroes.

The animation was good throughout, delivering a deceptively Pixar-like visual (or Dixar as the film references) and the set pieces that needed to hit did. The mass chaos of the food tumbling out of the trolley and the ensuing massacre is depicted is well done, and feels like an animated war scene (...with food) and also the sheer horror the food faces as they are in the kitchen fully realising just what the Great Beyond represents is edited nicely, allowing for the panicked feeling of the food to shine through.

There were times during the movie where I wasn’t sure if I was laughing because of the gag, or because of the sheer “did they just go there??” feelings. Did the swearing and profanity become a bit laboured as the film wore on? Yes. Did it damage the film slightly? Yes, but not enough to derail it completely. The movie opened with a blast and finished with a massive bang, however I feel it dragged slightly in the middle as the food struggled to find themselves and reach safety. The movies’ (nearly) ending is just pure chaos, and you may not look at food in the same way again! The actual ending sets up the possibility of a very probable sequel also.

Sausage Party is no doubt a strange film – talking food that worship humans, foul mouthed and abusive to each other before the turnaround during the movie – but above all, it’s a fun film. It has its messages about religion, faith, appreciation and conduct, and these are not often unsubtle but work well in between the loud and outrageous behaviour. Repeat viewings? Maybe not, but definitely good fun to watch and you will laugh during it – whether you want to or not!

September 11th 2016

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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