Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sausage Party Movie Review by Carleton Rutter

Director: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
Cast: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco and Salma Hayek

What's it all about?

Frank (Rogen) a sausage (Actually a hot dog) a product on the shelf of Shopwell’s Grocery Store strives to discover the truth about his existence. What happens to the food that is selected by the humans, is their fate as glorious as they believe or are things darker than expected?

What are my thoughts?

Sausage Party which was released earlier this month in the States, came out to mixed reviews. The movie though featured one of the funniest red band trailers I have seen in a long time. Despite, a completely different subject matter and audience, a similarity between this movie and another animated feature earlier this year, The Secret Life of Pets can certainly be drawn. Both being examples of movies that don't fully live up to their trailers. I much preferred Sausage Party though between the two. Pets was pants.

There are a lot of laughs to to be had in this movie, and there were several scenes that really had the audience laughing. I saw this on preview night and the cinema was around 80% full.

Taking centre stage is Frank voiced by Seth Rogen who leads us through his quest to make the food in the store realise what happens to them once selected. Sausage Party is raunchy, crude, politically incorrect, racist and sexist. Everything a movie in 2016 shouldn't be, and as a result it’s a delight to see a movie shove a hearty two fingers to this over PC conscious world. What do you expect an adult animated movie from Seth Rogen and team to do? Play it safe? This movie is DEFINITELY not for kids. The financial success of this movie will no doubt open the doors for other adult themed animated features, and of course it’s own possible sequel.

The raucous comedy aside, the movie has some clever touches. The super market setting in which the movie takes place, is seen in a washed out colour palette from the humans PoV. This is then washed away and replaced with a full colour world for the food. I liked that touch, to act as a distinction between the two worlds. The animation though is not of the same class of the likes of Pixar (Watch out for an Easter egg nodding to this on a bumper sticker of a car), and the humans and look of the “real” world is like a darker take on the Despicable Me kind of look. However, you’re not here though to see a ground breaking piece of animation, you’re here to have a good laugh, and laugh you will.

The movie also sends up real world rivalries past and present with a rivalry between a lavash and a bagel that takes centre stage that brilliantly sends up the Middle East conflict. What I also found to be very clever was the food's believe that everything is okay after being chosen by the humans, which brilliantly parodies some people's belief about religion.
This leads me onto the voice-over work, which is top notch. Kristen Wiig as Brenda the bun, and Edward Norton as Sammy Bagel Jr being the standout turns.

The story itself as well is engaging enough as you are with Frank, Brenda and friends on their quest.

So, what were my issues with the movie? The profanities in the movie come thick and fast (The first word of the whole movie is “Shit”) and it’s thick with foul language until the end. This for me wore me down after a little while, once I’d heard a food drop the f-bomb or even fouler language that was enough and it dragged the movie down somewhat as it felt they were just swearing for swearing sake.

Also, a lot of the jokes which are fresh at the start tend to get recycled during the movie leaving me to feel like it was like a broken record. Also, harking back to the start of my review, The Secret Life of Pet’s trailer as I said in my review of that movie was basically the first five minutes of the actual movie. With Sausage Party, arguably the funniest scene of the red band trailer - the kitchen sequence is but one scene and perhaps the funniest of the movie. I would have preferred a “Great Escape” style movie, where our main protagonists had to escape the humans and get back to the safety of the store. In it’s place though we get a movie that is largely set within the confines of the supermarket which although well done from the PoV of food, (Think the toy store from the PoV of Woody and Buzz and friends in Toy Story) it is at times a little claustrophobic.

Sausage Party though, is unlike any film that is out at the moment, scratch that. It’s unlike any film that has ever been made, and given it’s originality should be seen on this alone.

So, if you are in a need of a laugh and are not someone that will be easily offended by foul language, sexism, racism, and basically any other ism, then I recommend you check this out. Just don't take the kids.

It is released in the UK on September 2nd.

Sausage Party Movie Review by Carleton Rutter