Review: Sausage Party (2016)


Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End, The Interview, The Night Before) continue their string of big screen satiric comedies with the R-Rated CGI animated feature Sausage Party; taking aim at the moralistic VeggieTales cartoons and inverting their premise into a existentialist quest for meaning turned grocery store bacchanalia headlined by a sausage, a bagel, some lavash, and shapely pair of buns. Sausage Party puts the delicious in deliciously subversive satire and is one of the most laugh out loud films this year. Find out more after the jump.


Sausage Party primarily takes place at a local grocery store called Shopwells. There, the anthropomorphic edibles of the supermarket greet each day with a song as they long to be chosen by the “gods” (i.e. people) that shop the store and taken to the great beyond — the world outside the supermarket. It is 4th of July weekend and the store’s sausages, Frank (Seth Rogen), Carl (Jonah Hill), and Barry (Michael Cera) are excited at the possibility of being chosen to leave along with Frank’s main squeeze, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a pair of shapely buns. Everything seems set to culminate for our heroes as they’re chosen to be purchased, alongside a douche (Nick Kroll), a bagel (Edward Norton), a lavash (David Krumholtz), and a jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride). Unfortunately for the crew, the honey mustard was recently outside in the realm of the great beyond, but returned by a customer. This unsettled jar lets the food crew and the audience know that everything they’ve heard about the great beyond is wrong and possibly terrifying before throwing himself out of the shopping cart and setting our heroes on the path to finding out the truth of what happens when food leaves the grocery store.

On its face, Sausage Party is a very clever take on the VeggieTales formula of anthropomorphic food stuffs providing Christian life lessons; albeit employed in inverse here to teach viewers about a secular worldview leading to annihilation. The very idea that something like VeggieTales became popular enough to lampoon is very telling about modern culture and the genre parody here that Sausage Party skillfully pulls off would be justification enough for this movie to exist. But the film doesn’t just take a Religulous slant and concentrate on one topic of satire. To their credit and to great laughs, Rogen and Goldberg use their characters to explore such diverse themes in this film as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict over the Middle East, race relations in America, bro culture, bath salt abuse and more. The film is the latter day stepchild of Tre Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park:Bigger, Longer and Uncut and Team America: World Police and stands on the same level with great animation and production value. That’s not to say the film is faultless. Roger and co. struggle with the broad race generalizations that plagued 2014’s The Interview; this is used as storytelling shorthand and works better here than it did in that film. At the same time, its 2016 and we shouldn’t have Mexican food represented with a lazy drunken stereotypical voiceover performance; using a Latin voiceover artist would be a nod in that direction. Ultimately though, films like this are risks and original work and should be seen. It is offensive and there is an 8 minute food orgy. But sometimes its a little more fun to see a bagel tea bagged by a lavash than the 14th comic book movie sequel and we should reward those filmmakers as an audience to get more original content on our screens.

Sausage Party is one of the year’s most original and daring films. Its refreshing to see a raunchy rated R comedy on the big screen again with a name cast and the clever subversion of the animated film genre proves CGI films can address more than just kid’s stuff.