Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan direct a whole host of big names including Seth Rogen, Salma Hayek and Kristen Wiig who voice Sausage Party. But with all it's vocal talent aside, does the R-rated, food-filled animation keep up it's sizzle or does it end up being stale?
Frank (Rogen) and his 'furter buddies Carl (Jonah Hill) and Barry have spent their whole lives waiting patiently for the day that a Shopwell's supermarket shopper is going to take them home, care for them, finally let them out of their packages and slip them into a big juicy bun (who's equally as excited about the prospect). Why? Because they've been indoctrinated to believe that beyond those doors lies The Great Beyond, a place where Gods (aka. humans) emerge from and are blessed, anthropomorphic foodstuffs end up when they've been 'chosen' by a song that they all sing together every single morning.
But when a jar of Honey Mustard gets returned to the shop and starts mouthing off about how the Great Beyond is "b***s**t" and the horrors that he's seen on the outside, some edibles – such as Frank – start to take notice of the whispers around the aisles and set out on a quest for the truth.
Let it be said, Sausage Party is very rude. Very, very rude but even if someone told you this 100 times before you walk into the cinema, you'll never be ready for all that the film throws your way. It goes to places that haven't been explored on the big screen before, let alone in an animated feature but quite unexpectedly, it borders on profound in places, satirising not only consumerism but also governmental control too.
Organised religion is the biggie though as Frank tries to persuade his fellow foods to curb their longstanding beliefs in the gods and The Great Beyond in favour of the truth that he's so newly learned; that the gods are really just humans who eat 'beings' like them as soon as they get them home. In order to please all viewers however, it's deep-and-meaningfuls are hidden deep beneath the humour.
Of course, when tackling such subjects the film's gags unsurprisingly enter into the realms of stereotypes and controversy, but it definitely doesn't tiptoe, it bulldozes – and most of the time, shamefully or not, it lands the joke. Fruits prance along to Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, a douche is quite literally a douche (bro), a Craig Robinson-voiced box of grits hates crackers (for nabbing his space on the shelf) and one scene even sees a Hitler-esque sauerkraut exclaim how he wants to "exterminate the juice" – it's an offensive minefield, but heck, it's funny!
While Sausage Party certainly doesn't disappoint on the crude side of things either however, expecting a grown audience to crack up every time a sausage says "f**k" for a whole 90 minutes is unjustifiably ambitious... and some might even think, a little lazy on the writers' part. While Deadpool exhibited a similar kind of humour, it managed to build on what we'd seen in every previous scene and offered up a different gag each time.
Sausage Party doesn't necessarily have the same progression. At the beginning of the movie, the foodstuffs just want to talk about and 'have sex' and as time goes on all they want to talk about and do is 'have sex'. And come the ending, boy, do they ever...
While the majority of the film seems one-note, that's not to say it doesn't have its moments of unique genius when it comes to laughs. Sequences when it strays away from the filth often showcase Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg and Rogen's true comedic chops when it comes to screenplay – like the running gag that certain words Douche (Nick Kroll) says encourage random introductions from certain characters and the scene which breaks all convention...
You see, unlike Pixar's Toy Story, which never saw Andy discover that Woody, Buzz and the gang were in fact talking, sentient play things, there's a standout scene in which a bath salts-tripping human's mind is opened up to the 'alternate reality' and begins conversing with Barry, Chips and a half-used loo roll... amping the action up a little.
While it may not be perfect, Sausage Party has enough smarts to be memorable and at the end of the day, does everything it says on the tin and will delight those who are already keen to see it. If you have already laid your eyes on the risqué promotional material, then you will no doubt know what to expect and can therefore hazard a guess as to whether you'll find the whole thing enjoyable or not. If you let out a giggle at the tagline 'get your fill' alongside an image of a frankfurter peering out of a bun, then it's not to be missed.