A film about talking food, spearheaded by Seth Rogen. Wait, what? Sausage Party gives us an insight into what food products sat on our supermarket shelves might be thinking and doing – whether that is a mustard jar dreaming of a life outside store walls or a hotdog wanting to get, and we quote, “five inches deep in some bun” – which actually leads to the film’s main love story. But after realising that the gods – us humans – and ‘The Great Beyond’ outside the supermarket is not all it’s cracked up to be, a group of food products sets out on unveiling the truth.
So, combine that plot with Seth Rogen and his writing team – who have collaborated to bring us films such as This is the End and 50/50 – and a cast of his regulars including Michael Cera, Paul Rudd and Danny McBride, and the result is as you might expect. Madness. Although delve deeper into the hysteria and Sausage Party actually makes some interesting points on ideology – bear with us.
Rogen stars as the lead, voicing Frank the hotdog, alongside love interest Kristen Wiig as Brenda Bunson, a hotdog bun. If you hadn’t already gathered by the wisecracking title, Sausage Party is jam packed with buns – sorry, puns. The combination of food products being at its core and the fact that Seth Rogen is at the helm mean that the majority of the puns and word play are inappropriate, but hilarious. There’s the racist Frankfurter sausages that exclaim “exterminate the juice” while throwing a Nazi salute, a sergeant pepper dressed as one of The Beatles and an invalid piece of chewing gum that rolls around in a wheelchair and sounds like Stephen Hawking… we told you it was controversial.
We are also treated to fun characteristics, and in some cases racial stereotypes, of each food group, from posh English tea bags to ‘illegally imported’ Mexican foods.
With contentious references and bad language constantly flying around the place, it does feel somewhat like watching an outtake reel in one of Rogen’s films – with the mentality seemingly being; if we fling out enough one liners, hopefully one of them will result in a chuckle. To be fair, most of the jokes are more hit and less miss.
The film’s antagonist is a douche – literally. You know, one of those feminine hygiene products? Yep, one of them. Once you have bought into the ridiculousness of the characters though, this doesn’t feel out of the ordinary. Growing enraged by Seth Rogen’s Frank, Douche, who sounds like Pauly Shore, grows stronger and stronger as he murders juice boxes and harnesses their fluids. This film really knows no limits when it comes to nonsensicality.
In all of its ridiculousness though, the veiled dream of ‘The Great Beyond’ – a story that has become so warped through time that it has taken on another meaning – raises some pretty relevant social and religious questions. Should we really put our faith in something we have no proof of? Would you rather believe in a serendipitous greater power that leads to an idyllic eternal life or face a harsh and garish reality? But maybe we are delving into it too much. Actually, no, we’re not. Rogen and co. have done a great job of intertwining this logical plot point into a hugely illogical setting – and that deserves a tip of the hat.
Sausage Party isn’t a film you’d sit down and watch with the in-laws, or the kids – or even twice for that matter.
It’s full of laughs, many of which are juvenile and cheap, but it’s a must see for fans of the ludicrously absurd Rogen genre. If you liked seeing Kim Jong Un get all bro with James Franco in The Interview, then you’ll probably love Sausage Party.
One thing’s for certain though, you’ll never look at hotdogs the same again… or a douche.