Sausage Party (d. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon USA 2016)

Please read On Reviews for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment: starfish starfish starfish starfish 

Performances: starfish starfish starfish  

Predictability:  starfish starfish starfish  

Technical:        starfish starfish   

Okay, that’s it. I’ve seen the same guys together in too many films. We only just had This is the End (d. Evan GoldbergSeth Rogen USA 2013) recently. Seth Rogan, Paul RuddJames FrancoJonah Hill appear together in a lot of films- wait, What? That’s a thing? ‘The Apatow Chapter’  refers both to this group of people as well as the predecessors within the Frat Pack, that included Ben StillerOwen WilsonWill Ferrell and Steve Carell. We also had the Brat Pack in the 80s with Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson for example; and the Rat Pack back in the 50s/60s including people like Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart. Whether or not they’re an official group is a bit contended as they are referred to as this group by press for the most part but it does show a similar style of American comedy that shows it’s change over the decades (Though the Rat Pack wasn’t really a comedy group). Sausage Party (d. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon USA 2016) is their latest effort it would seem. Sausage Party could easily be seen as a light comedy in the same league as most Pixar or Dreamworks productions; but very quickly, and if the 15 certificate wasn’t enough, the tone is very different – much more ‘Apatow Chapter’.

So this is an adult film, for an older audience. The humour is very sexual orientated with many puns being made upon the various food items that the characters are. We do focus a lot more on an adult themed message, what is life? What does it mean to face death? What is religion? But importantly this is played for laughs in a way that is both daring and quite restricted at the same time. The sex jokes can be quite explicit and very funny but feel somewhat college humour. This is hardly surprising; it fits with the kind of humour you’d get with Seth Rogan films. Clever and trying at times, but sometimes just crude for the sake of crude.

The various performances throughout are consistently done well and characters add to each other in an effective manner. SPOILER: Edward Norton’s impression of Woody Allen is a surprising and excellent set up for a later joke. END OF SPOILERS. Technically, however, the film fares to be just okay. The animation style isn’t a focus for the film but doesn’t feel like it works all that consistently just looking rather bland. This sometimes feels to be the point though, so can’t be criticised too much. The story sticks to some familiar plot points with one or two unexpected turns for the sake of comedy. Largely this does seem to be to comment on the film themes, criticising and making an argument for things like religion – a bit unexpected for a film like this.

So Sausage Party is everything you should expect from a film with Seth Rogan, Paull Rudd, Jonah Hill and James Franco to name a few. There is a self-awareness of the film as these actors playing them. This isn’t done quite as well as This is the End but it still adds something. This makes the film essentially dependent on the style of comedy and the performances of these characters. However, of the films that they’ve done together, this is the least dependent on you actually liking the actors. Worth a watch for a good chuckle – don’t bring the kids.

Synopsis

A Sausage (Seth Rogan) and a Bun (Kristen Wiig) live in a supermarket excited to join together for a food heaven. An unexpected turn leads them to discover more about themselves and this food heaven than meets the eye.

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritc.com

Official Site

Interview with Seth Rogan

Interview with Directors

Interview with Cast

Food Heaven

 



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