Every morning, the perishable goods at Shopwell’s welcome the new day with a hymn to the heavens in eager anticipation of being purchased and taken to what they refer to as the “Great Beyond”. Looking at human beings as gods that have come to save them, they live each day banking on this Messianic belief that will lead to their eventual salvation. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage and hotdog bun Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig) await the fourth of July with enthusiasm so they can consummate their relationship, knowing that all of them will be flying off the shelves during that holiday. Their illusions are shattered when Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to his shelf after being brought home, telling everyone that the whole concept of the Great Beyond is one big scam, an irreversible disaster waiting to happen. When the couple is left behind in an unexpected twist of events, they are joined by Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholz), Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton), and Teresa del Taco (Salma Hayek), as they embark on an aisle per aisle journey in search for the truth. The question is, are they ready to accept the fact that everything they have believed in since time immemorial has been one fat lie all along?
By now, you already know how Seth Rogen’s movies work. Sausage Party is no different, except that it does not even attempt to be subtle at all. Given the R rating it has received in most cinemas all over the world, you must prepare yourself for an hour and a half of profanities, double entendres, and a no-holds barred lampooning of touchy issues ranging from religion to various country stereotypes. The film is hilarious, but this will basically depend on how strong your affiliation is to any of the religions or nationalities being parodied here. If you are not that easily offended, then perhaps you’ll take everything with a grain of salt and have one hell of a good time.
Having said that, is it as “offensive” as 2014’s The Interview then? Well, not really. First, none of the characters directly allude to any person living or dead. The Interview was a direct jab at a real life political figure revered by his citizens, by force. Of course, there would be a backlash. On the contrary, Sausage Party is an animated feature focusing on talking grocery products given anthropomorphic qualities. Second, most of the trailers they released concentrate more on the profanity and suggestive dialogue instead of the social commentary involving politics and religion. As such, you might find yourself a little bit shocked once their string of satires come into play. Or maybe not. I’m an avid viewer of South Park, after all.
This is definitely not a family affair to bring your young ones to. While the animation can be really appealing to children, the jokes are mostly funny because of their political, sexual, and religious undertones. Suffice it to say that it’s something that an innocent kid won’t be able to grasp just yet. Even the circumstances surrounding the main characters’ adventures and motivations can be confusing to young minds. The bigger picture is all about the manipulation of society through politics and religion, referring to events that we witness every single day. As an adult, it is that extra layer buried deeper in all the vulgarity that you will get to appreciate more. In the end, that social critique becomes the saving grace of the film. In short, it gets you thinking about the very fabric of contemporary society in general, and that’s a good thing.
In terms of technical aspects, the animation rendering leaves nothing to be desired, and there are many scenes that stand out because of the way they are presented. Take for example that shopping cart disaster which makes them all appear as though they are in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. It should be as absurd as is it vivid, when you think about the real situation being depicted there. Even so, the crafty presentation elevated the scene into something more poignant and utterly distressing to evoke a weird mix of emotions. Beyond that, the storyline is plain absurd. But we are not complaining anyway. We know what we came here for, and it was hilarious.