Three-and-a-half out of five stars
The premise may get a little old, but expect big laughs from this raunchy romp.
It seems like the ultimate stoner premise: What if all the products in the supermarket could talk? What would they say? What would they do?
What’s hard to believe is that someone hasn’t come up with this concept in the first place. And animated it. And made it R-rated. A hard R-rating.
Thankfully, no one spoiled the concept before Seth Rogen and crew could make it their own, because if nothing else, you can tell that everyone involved in "Sausage Party" had a lot of fun making it. Maybe too much fun. But this definitely seems like a case of the right guys at the right time.
"Sausage Party" follows Frank, a hot dog (voiced by Seth Rogen), and a bun named Brenda (voiced by Kristen Wiig), who, like the rest of the items for sale, are sold on the idea that once they leave the supermarket and head out into the “great beyond,” a kind of paradise awaits. But thanks to a returned jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride), Frank and Brenda soon realize the world that awaits them has an appetite for their destruction. This sends them on a mission of discovery, adventure and more food/sex jokes than should be allowed by law.
To be clear, "Sausage Party" is very funny. The opening musical number sets the tone, with its cursing and Hitler references, making it clear you’re in for 90 minutes of animation like you’ve never seen before in theaters from a major studio, full of all the drug and sex humor you’ve come to expect from Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg. The animation seems have pushed them to go deeper and dirtier, and the jokes get an extra layer of shock value laughter out of the fact that the lines are being spoken by animated food.
But it’s not all just shock and awe. These are the guys behind "The Interview" and "This Is the End" movies that smartly interweave social and political commentary with fart jokes. "Sausage Party" goes there, too, with well-crafted riffs on Mexican stereotypes, religious iconography, and the historical tensions between Jews and Arabs.
More of the smart stuff and less of the predictable stuff would have propelled "Sausage Party" from good to great. The premise wears thin after a while, with maybe too many jokes about things going into things. There are a couple of stretches where it feels like the same ground is being plowed again and again.
However, this is the kind of film you’ll want to see in a theater for maximum effect. Sitting in the dark with a bunch of strangers laughing at the climactic orgy scene is one of the strangest and funniest shared experiences you’ll ever have in a multiplex.
"Sausage Party" delivers on the party and the laughs. And while it falls just short of instant classic status, I have a feeling it might launch a trend of raunchy animated R-rated movies.