Seth Rogen is hardly known for being the most subtle of comedians, having previously stuck to his famed formula of stoner laughs and Jewish jokes for previous hits This Is The End and Pineapple Express, so it comes as no surprise that his foray into animation serves up plenty of the same.
Sausage Party drops us into the world of food and, more specifically, the quest for sausage Frank (Seth Rogen) and his buddies to finally be picked by the ‘gods’ for a place in the promised land beyond those automatic doors that see so many consumers enter and exit.
Not only does the promise of a whole new life beyond the doors seem enticing to Frank, it would also see the opportunity for him to finally ‘seal the deal’ and join together with his one true love, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a hot dog bun. But all is not as is seems when a returned pot of mustard (Danny McBride) reveals the shattering truth that they are in fact lambs to the slaughter should they leave the safety of their home. Frank, along with his pals, look to warn all the other foods in the supermarket before it is too late and they are gone forever.
The bottom line with Sausage Party is that it’s one of those films with an intriguing concept that will either remain constantly funny or it will ultimately outstay its welcome. Unfortunately, the Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg-Jonah Hill writing collaboration results in the latter, an often lazy and tiresome comedy that rarely hits the best taste buds and instead makes you feel short-changed very quickly.
Opening up with a musical number, Sausage Party initially employs the familiar troves of something reminiscent of a Disney Pixar movie, before descending into muddied waters involving copious swearing and sexual references. It’s a device clearly designed to shock, but instead it becomes rather tedious and devoid of anything refreshing or, most importantly, actually that funny.
That’s not saying the movie isn’t funny; in-between the stoner and swear gags, there’s fun to be had with some well-timed movie references (Saving Private Ryan at the centre), a brilliant performance from Edward Norton as Sammy Bagel Jr putting on his best Woody Allen impression, and a cameo (of sorts) from Meat Loaf topping the billing. Aside from these highlights, Sausage Party is a bitter disappointment.
Determined to amp up the swearing and sexualisation – the closing stages of the film somewhat pushing it uncomfortably too far – Rogen and co don’t quite hit the sweet spot, and a film that could have been a comedy standout for 2016 ends up on the shelves.
Rating: 2 stars