Sausage Party is the first R-Rated CG Movie, but does it live up to the hype?
Before I tell you what I thought about the movie, I’m going to talk about something that happened when I went to see it on Thursday night. Just scroll down if you don’t care about reading this. Anyway, I got to the theater kinda late and came in during the trailers. The trailers I saw, with the exception of Kubo, were only for animated films geared more towards children, even though the studio wouldn’t say that (Stork and Trolls). I thought that was odd but figured it part of the joke of Sausage Party. Then the Mower Minions short came on, which got me really suspicious.
I decided to hold out on telling anyone of the theater employees that I thought Secret Life of Pets was about to start playing. Maybe I forgot this was a Universal film, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg just decided to put the Minions Mowers short in front of the the movie just to mess with the audience. I don’t know. If that was actually the case, I wouldn’t have minded it so much. As much as I don’t care for the Minions, I like that short. The Minions just work better in small doses, as oppose to that pretty awful movie released last year. Turns out that obviously wasn’t the case, and my suspicions were confirmed when Secret Life of Pets started playing. On top of all this, I didn’t even really like Secret Life of Pets which just made the situation worse. Now three scenarios are going through my head as I leave the theater to go tell one of the employees.
1. Did I walk into the wrong theater?
2. Did the theater just make a mistake?
3. Since we’re suppose to be seeing Sausage Party and got Secret Life of Pets, did the theater that was suppose to get Secret Life of Pets get Sausage Party?
I kinda hoped it was the last option to be honest. Not to scar a bunch of little kids by seeing Sausage Party (already happened), but just for the theater I was at to be put on the news. Maybe I’d get to be on the news but probably not. I don’t know. Now onto the actual review part…
(Spoilers for Sausage Party Below)
Going into Sausage Party, my expectations were pretty high. Not only for the movie being an R-Rated animated film but also the inventiveness behind the idea. Seth Rogen, as well as starring in this movie, also wrote and produced this with his colleague, Evan Goldberg. Neighbors 2 was great, but it’s admirable how they’re coming out of their comfort zones in their work behind the camera with Preacher and Sausage Party, even though these projects have been in development for a long time. Also I know Sausage Party does have that type of humor you’ve come to expect from them (not that’s not good), but it being an animated film is different.
As for the film itself, I thought it was pretty good. It has some sorta biggish problems, but the good mostly outweighs the not so good. A concern I saw some people have from the trailer was that this would the type of movie that just works better as a trailer. Half of the trailer builds up to that reveal, for the food, that humans actually kill them instead of being Gods that take them to heaven, where Frank can put himself inside Brenda. After that, or even before technically, the movie could really fizzle out. While that does unfortunately happen sometimes, there’s actually a lot to this movie. That matched with the humor is enough to keep pulling you back in. One aspect that really helps with that is how the plot is structured. Frank, Brenda, Sammy, and Lavash getting lost from the rest of the group was really smart. This allowed time to show them making their way back to the aisle before cutting back to the other food now at the woman’s house. I love how violent the movie, for what it is, gets in places. The scene showcasing the destruction of the different foods, after they fell out of the cart, was incredible.
People have compared that scene to the food equivalent of the D-Day sequence from Saving Private Ryan, and that couldn’t be more perfect. On top of that, there’s also Carl returning to Shopwell’s with Druggie’s (James Franco) head.
As for the acting, I have no complaints. No one’s phoning in their performance. Even the people who aren’t in it a lot. They’re all into the type of movie this is and having fun with it. Some people that I knew were in the movie, like Michael Cera (Barry) and Edward Norton (Sammy), I didn’t even realize were who they were until either the movie was almost over or even when the credits came on. Also David Krumholtz, Bernard in The Santa Clause movies, voiced Lavish. That’s pretty amazing. Movie gets extra points for that.
Nick Kroll (Douche) makes for a great villain. His motivation is getting mad at Frank (Seth Rogen) for keeping him from something that would eventually kill him. I know Douche doesn’t know he’ll die, but the situation creatures a real unique dynamic between him and Frank. Frank is indirectly trying to save the villain (just by trying to expose the truth) while the villain is indirectly trying to get himself killed.
My only problem with Douche is that he swears too much in short amount of times. I’m by no mean a stickler about that kind of stuff, but it was so much to the point where it wasn’t funny anymore.
Surprisingly Sausage Party is very existential and deep by also exploring the questioning of faith and religion. A nice part of that is the film doesn’t skimp on that deepness either and really goes for it. That rains true for the whole movie as well. An area where that statement rains the truest is the ending. They went farther than I ever expected them to with showing us a food orgy and the characters discovering they’re in a cartoon.
Overall, just like a lot of Rogen/Goldberg recent projects, Sausage Party is a truly ambitious piece of entertainment. The humor and deep themes are balanced really well together, with the more dramatic themes being approached better than some dramas that have tried to pull them off the same way. Sausage Party, as of now, definitely deserves a Best Animated Feature nomination. Yeah, I said it.