4:20: SAUSAGE PARTY [2016]

sausage-party-movie

Directed by Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

Written by Kyle Hunter (screenplay), Ariel Shaffir (screenplay), Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, James Franco, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll


Shout out to my good bud Tom over at DSB who perked my interest regarding this film, and I’m glad I gave it a shot.

I have never been the biggest fan of Seth Rogen, but what I read convinced me that this was worth a shot. And the session (heh) was playing at 4:20. It was meant to be, so I appropriately prepared myself, and since the cinema is around the corner from me, I didn’t actually leave the house until 4:30, arriving just in time to miss all the ads and trailers.

I am sure many people have commented on the depth of this movie. It involves many analogies relating to issues like religion, race, even relationships and sexuality. That this is all realised within a supermarket filled with talking food is even more impressive, and the way their lives play out (ie – they have expiration dates) is remarkably thoughtful, and also very human.

I do think however that this concept could have been increasingly effective without being so crude. It also could have done with a few doses of subtlety. Hearing food items saying the word ‘fuck’ over and over gets old. Quickly. Moreover, like most films, the film tries too hard to make smoking weed seem cool. Or funny. I’m not sure what the intention was, but it wasn’t funny and material like that only adds to false stigmas that surround the drug.

Oh, and did I mention the puns? Soooo many goddamned puns! We get it already!!

While it touches on a number of issues, Sausage Party seems chiefly concerned with religion, though politics also get a once-over as we learn why all the food in the store worship the people shopping; the Gods. Unfortunately, the film comes off as trying too hard; the commentary on religion is so incredibly obvious that it becomes over-bearing. This is a shame, but despite the obviousness of it all, there is no denying that this is an intelligent movie that has some great satirical moments.

The film is about a hot-dog called Frank, and all he wants is to go to ‘The Great Beyond’ so he can ‘fill’ a hot-dog bun that he seems to have some sort of relationship with. This joke is milked for far longer than it is worth, but that seems like the point. Soon into the film Frank (Seth Rogan) is told what ‘The Great Beyond’ is, and this leads Frank on a journey to question this notion. Are the Gods real? It is an extremely smart way of pointing out the human struggle to find value and meaning in their life, and his journey slowly begins to erode his faith in the story of the Gods.

Frank attempts to bring this to the attention of the shops populace, but their faith is so strong that they see him as a crazy person. Errr, crazy… dog? Whatever, they think he is nuts, and see him as insulting their beliefs. This is another nice touch on the reality of being human – we all have our own beliefs and some are offended by other people spouting what they see as blasphemous.

Kinda like how people look at me when I tell them that Stanley Kubrick shot the moon-landings, but a lot angrier. Frank needs to learn to how to convince his fellow food items without being forceful.

It is a pity that all these elements are overshadowed by some limp and repetitive humour, and an overwhelming bias towards the theological elements of the film.

Hell, I was in the right frame of mind to giggle like an idiot!

I can’t deny that I chuckled a few times in the opening 30 minutes. After that though, I found the laughs to be rare as the humour becomes increasingly crude. Armed with puns and sex-jokes abound, this film also possesses one of the most disgusting scenes to be taken to the screen, animated or other-wise. Forget Salo, this is easily the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in a movie. It is the first time I was tempted to look away from the screen. And I didn’t seem alone, not one person was laughing in the packed cinema.

Oddly enough, this bizarre scene is followed by one of the most intelligent endings to a movie that I can recall. Go figure!

sau


This one is a mixed bag. It is incredibly apt at relating truly human issues to those experienced by these food items come alive, and it comments on many areas of life. Unfortunately4.5 beer - no beer top though, the humour is incredibly crude, incredibly repetitive, and subsequently at odds with the rest of the film, which is excellent. The animation is great, and the voice acting is incredible, especially from Edward Norton. Nick Kroll however takes one of his many personas and turns it up to eleven, as the literal douche of the movie. It is too much, even for him. The rest of the movie though is great, and if excessive crude humour is your thing, then this is your movie. Enjoy it, as it is satire done right. For me, I just didn’t find it that funny.

One and a half beers short of a sixer, but definitely worth watching.

4.5/6