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article imageReview: ‘Sausage Party’ doesn’t know the meaning of taboo Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 12, 2016 in Entertainment
‘Sausage Party’ is as funny, dirty and ridiculous as anyone could have hoped for, as the food brings the fight to shoppers.
While carnivores are aware the meat they consume was once a living creature, in most cases it’s safe to assume they’re no longer alive once meal preparation begins (save for shellfish, poor things). However, this is not even a question with most other products available at the supermarket, such as produce, baked goods and especially manufactured items. These things never had a conscience and therefore are unaware of their fates as consumables… but what if they were cognisant? Sausage Party explores the horror they’d experience if they discovered the true fates of the chosen.
It’s the Fourth of July weekend, and Frank (Seth Rogen) and his hot dog pals along with Brenda (Kristen Wiig) and her bun buddies are hoping they’ll be taken together to “the great beyond” by a “god.” Once unpackaged, they hope to finally be together like a real couple — dog in bun. However an accident caused by a suicidal, returned jar of mustard (Danny McBride) leads them to be left behind at the store with Sammy the bagel (Edward Norton), Lavash the flatbread (David Krumholtz) and crazed Douche (Nick Kroll) seeking revenge for his ejection. But Frank needs to know what frightened the mustard to take such extreme measures and consequently what fate awaits his purchased companions. While he embarks on a mission to find the truth, the selected produce are horrifically murdered as the buyer prepares dinner — except for Barry the misshapen hot dog (Michael Cera), determined to return to the grocery store and warn his friends.
The first five minutes of the film makes it very clear this is an animated movie in no way suitable for children. Besides all the swearing and sexual innuendo, there is a lot of recreational drug use, barely veiled racism and darkly humorous deaths. Via Sammy and Lavash, the film explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and discovers an unexpected middle ground over which they bond. The personalities assigned to each item are comically fitting, from the erotic taco Teresa (Salma Hayek) to the Stephen Hawking-inspired gum (Scott Underwood) to peanut butter grieving the loss of jam. In addition to those already mentioned, the cast is comprised of a selection of comedy regulars, including James Franco, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Anders Holm, Lauren Miller, Craig Robinson and Paul Rudd.
Part of what makes the film so entertaining is how messed up it is to anthropomorphize everything, making people cruel and uncaring monsters that devour and destroy other living creatures for their own benefit — that’s just one of many metaphors and messages the movie entwines in its otherwise frivolous narrative. However, they’re not trying to beat audiences over the head with any sort of deeper meaning; it’s simply there if you want it. Instead this is the dark extrapolation of the old “Let’s all go to the lobby” theatre ad or popular food with faces collectibles Shopkins, which asks “what if…?” During promotion for the movie they took this possibility from the hypothetical realm and applied it in a real-world grocery store with varied results.
Thankfully this is not an instance of the best parts being in the trailer because most of the humour is inappropriate for mass consumption and must be heard in context. Put simply: it’s dirty in the best possible way. Of course with any comedy that’s almost literally trying to achieve a laugh-a-minute, it’s not always going to work — but it’s definitely funny enough and brings a whole new meaning to “food fight.”
Directors: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig and Michael Cera
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