Sausage Party (15) | Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, USA, 2016, 89 mins

Cast: (voice) Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Kristen Wiig, Nick Kroll, Edward Norton, Nick Krumholtz, James Franco

Review by James Bartlett

It’s another wonderful day at the supermarket, and the products on the shelves are singing away – maybe today will be the wonderful moment when they’re finally chosen to be taken through the automatic doors to the “promised land.”

Especially excited – in every way – are hot dog sausage Frank (voiced by Seth Rogen) and hot dog bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig), who are hoping that when their packages are naturally bought together for the upcoming BBQ-friendly Bank Holiday, it will finally be the moment he’ll slip inside her bun.

Frank’s nerdy little buddy Barry (Michael Cera) is nervous about leaving the store though, and when a honey mustard (Danny McBride) is returned by one of the “gods,” he has a horrible story to tell – it’s no sunny world out there.

Soon enough, Frank, Brenda and many of their friends are in the shopping trolley – but then the traumatized honey mustard leaps to his splashy death, and there’s the need for a major clean-up in aisle two.

Now Frank, Brenda, Arabic bread lavash (Nick Krumholtz) and kvetching bagel Sammy (Edward Norton) are loose in the store with crazy Douche (Nick Kroll) on their tail, while Barry is a lone survivor out in the real world – he now knows that it’s a place where they’re all sliced, diced, boiled and munched.

Can the friends show everyone they’re no longer just for eating and, more importantly, will Frank and Brenda finally get together?

Immediately a raucous hit in the US (it’s from the 21st century stoner brat pack of Rogen and his regular co-writer/producer Evan Goldberg and features the voices of Jonah Hill, many SNL alums et al), this is perhaps the best entry in the very limited genre, and, from the off, it’s very clear we’re way beyond double entendre and silly sauciness.

There’s some serious story-telling among the humour though, and multi Oscar-winning Disney composer Alan Menken even wrote the main song (as such it’s a cert for a nomination; cannot WAIT until they perform that at the ceremony).

The look is strong too – the film even utilizes several animation styles – and even the crudeness and stereotyping is forgivable. The voiceworks of all (especially Kroll as the cranked-up Douche) make this a continually amusing, wicked and shocking fun fest, and there are inspired touches too – the Stephen Hawking gum and the way they decide to deal with the humans.

I’ll say nothing about the end sequence – something that you’d have to go to special stores (or websites) to watch if it were live action – but it’s safe to say that this isn’t a cutesy movie for kids, though anyone else with a sense of the absurd might be scandalized – but will still laugh.