Sausage Party,
directed by Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon
(Columbia, 2016)

I saw a trailer for Sausage Party and it looked funny. It's a cartoon, the concept of which is a grocery store full of food products who equate being purchased with being chosen for the afterlife. They're happy little edibles who, once bought, discover to their horror that they're going to be chopped up, cooked and eaten.

It looked hilarious.

So when it popped up this week on my Netflix queue, I decided to watch it. And it's awful.

The script was written by a juvenile crew with the assumption that no sexual joke or racial stereotype is too stupid. That profanity is innately funny whatever the context. That rape is funny. That drug use is funny simply because it happens on screen. And that food engaged in sexual activities is funny because, heck, it's food and we eat that shit.

Based on a story by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill, the movie features the voice talents of Seth Rogen as a hot dog and Kristen Wiig as his lusty bun (yes, they make a lot of penis jokes), Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as additional hot dogs, Danny McBride as the honey mustard who sees the light, Edward Norton as a bagel, James Franco as a drug addict on bath salts, Nick Kroll as a vengeful douche, literally, and Salma Hayek as a sexy taco.


Don't get me wrong, vulgar humor can be funny if it's clever. This isn't clever. This is what happens when a bunch of guys get high and write a script and don't get anyone to take a look at it while sober.

And it's a shame, because the concept had merit. And there are scenes -- such as the aftermath of a shopping cart crash inspired by Saving Private Ryan -- that show glimmers of brilliance.

You'll enjoy this if you're 10 years old or if you're really, really stoned. Otherwise, read a book.

review by
Tom Knapp

22 July 2017

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