Movie Review - Sausage Party

This is the latest film written and starring Seth Rogen. It was produced by Rogen and features the usual roster of actors he's employed over and over. It's yet another stoner comedy or a comedy for those who regularly smoke marijuana. It's very loose and open, and has no regard for decorum or propriety. It in fact embraces lewdness and vulgarity. It's Rogen's first, animated film that he's produced. Rogen was a voice in the Kung Fu Panda films, but, unlike that cuddly franchise, this film isn't for children. This movie is all about cursing and as much potty and sex jokes as possible. It's nothing but penis and vagina puns and gags, f-bomb bombardment, as well as a slew of racial and ethnic stereotypes that would be offensive if they weren't so lazy.

Seth Rogen voices Frank, one of a pack of hot dogs or wieners, aka cooked sausages. He like the rest of the sausages, all guys, sit on the store shelf waiting to be purchased. Right next to him is a pack of hot-dog buns, all girls. In reality, those two items wouldn't be shelved side-by-side, or there would be a greater division because typically meats are refrigerated and breads are not.

They're merely side-by-side to set-up Frank's love for a particular bun named Brenda, voiced by Kristen Wiig, a very curvaceous piece of bread that seems to know that she's suited for a sausage or something of similar shape. She, like the rest of the anthropomorphized food products, believe that the store is all that there is but that humans are gods and being chosen by humans is like being raptured to Heaven.

What becomes the issue is that Frank begins to doubt that being picked by humans is some heavenly experience. His doubts are warranted because it turns out the foods are eaten by humans. The foods don't have proof of that, so they don't believe it, or rather they don't disbelieve in their Heavenly myth. Frank basically argues an atheistic position.

Where this movie fails is that there are two directions that the characters can look, but the characters spend the whole time only looking in one direction. The two directions are forward, what happens when you die, and backward, where do you originate. The characters here focus on looking forward, but they never think about looking backward. Their refusal to look in the other direction or even think about the other direction is annoying and frustrating.

At no point does anyone ask or consider where they come from. Sausages are made from beef or pork, so either cows or pigs, which are themselves living creatures. Therefore, cows and pigs are like parents to them, but parents that have to be slaughtered in order to create them. For Rogen and his fellow writers, Evan Goldberg, Ariel Shaffir and Kyle Hunter not to address this aspect furthers an overall sense of laziness to this screenplay.

It's internal logic is supremely broken. One scene suggests that the food products and any other anthropomorphized product are powerless to interact in any way with humans unless the human is under the influence of bath salts. At least, humans can't see the eyes and appendages of the foods. It suggests a similar logic as The Lego Movie (2014), but disregarding the coherence.

Even if I accept the framework and went with the illogical construction of this world, I can't accept where this movie ultimately takes us. Frank and the other foods in the grocery store start killing humans. For the characters, it's justifiable because to them the humans are eating them, but what is the message of this? Is it that humans are wrong for eating? I suppose some would argue the message is one of atheism and rejection of blind faith without proof, as well as people of all types banding together. Yet, it's awash in an action scene involving the murder of innocent humans.

Rogen's previously written features had better messages than the asinine messages here. They might have been simplistic, but there was something constructive that didn't betray all of humanity. This movie is ideologically the reverse of Rogen's This is the End (2013), which purported the existence of a Heavenly afterlife, but even in The Interview (2014), the instinct was to find the humanity even in an enemy country. Maybe, Rogen wanted to do something completely opposite, but it's only in the end disgusting.

One Star out of Five.
Rated for crude sexual content, pervasive language and drug use.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 29 mins.

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