Magazine article Screen International

'Sausage Party': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Sausage Party': Review

Article excerpt

Dirs: Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan. US. 2016. 88mins

Creative partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's best films - This Is The End and Superbad - lead with their raunchy, inappropriate humour but sneak in enough of an emotional undercurrent so that there's real heart beneath the winningly crude gags. Sausage Party, which they wrote and produced, follows in those footsteps while pushing even more boundaries, offering an R-rated animated film that's proudly politically incorrect.

This tale of grocery store food items who discover the horrible truth - they are destined to be devoured by humans - is consistently funny while also pausing to critique organised religion and racial disharmony in a way that's smart but also playful.

Opening in North America on August 12, Sausage Party enters a marketplace that already features edgy action (Suicide Squad) and adult-themed comedies (Bad Moms). But Sony can probably parlay this film's clever hook - an animated movie featuring adorable-looking characters who swear and have sex - into solid grosses, especially with a voice cast that includes Rogen and his buddies Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.

The film features Rogen as Frank, a sausage waiting to be selected by human customers (whom he and his buddies call gods) so that he can be taken to The Great Beyond, a Heaven-like paradise. But after he and his sausage pals Barry (Cera) and Carl (Hill) are separated and Frank is leftbehind in the supermarket, he begins to wonder if what he and all the other food items have grown up believing about The Great Beyond is a lie. Maybe they are all about to be prepared by the gods and eaten. Alongside his girlfriend Brenda (Wiig), a hotdog bun, Frank goes on an odyssey across the shop floor to learn the truth.

Cleverly spoofing Pixar's habit of crafting detailed ecosystems out of unlikely objects - like toys or cars - Sausage Party gets ample comedic mileage out of imagining how ordinary food items would view their existence. In the process, Sausage Party turns a simple grocery shop into a microcosm of human society. There are turf wars between bitter ethnic rivals - in this case, a Jewish bagel (voiced by Edward Norton) and a Middle Eastern lavash (voiced by David Krumholtz) - and disputes about whether or not to accept fantastical old stories as literal gospel.

Rogen and Goldberg, alongside cowriters Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir, tease ethnic foods while simultaneously poking fun at their nationalties' stereotypes. …

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