I’m not usually a Seth Rogen fan, but every so often he comes out with a movie that I do legit enjoy, like KNOCKED UP and THIS IS THE END. But those films are far inbetween. I’m not a fan of stoner films, which he’s practically got a monopoly on, so unless he plays a straight character, I didn’t really care for his work. But I can’t deny how creative this movie looked based on its trailer. I mean, I’ve sure never seen a movie like this: food being slaughtered for human consumption. It looked incredibly funny. Maybe the animation itself wasn’t all that impressive, but I wasn’t going in wanting fantastic animation. I just wanted to see where this story was going to go with its own idea and I was super excited.
I think what’s both intriguing and possibly scary is bringing on Greg Tiernan, one of the two directors of the film. I say this because his IMDb page is pretty much nothing but THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE shorts. Can you tell where I feel like that wouldn’t mesh? To make matters even more weird, Conrad Vernon is the second director. Who’s he? He directed MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, MADAGASCAR 3, and SHREK 2. Both directors are known for their family friendly films and yet get brought on to make this raunchy, very adult, animated movie. I still have high expectations, but it’s not unlike seeing Francis Ford Coppola’s name attached to JACK (1996), it just doesn’t look or sound right. But whatever, the real test is how it turns out.
The writers of the film are: Seth Rogen, of course, as well as reuniting Kyle Hunter, Evan Goldberg, and Ariel Shaffir, who all co-wrote THE NIGHT BEFORE (2015). That seemed to be popular enough, but having so many writers on a single project can easily backfire if they’re not all on the same page, especially in a comedy as so many people have different tastes. If they don’t mesh well, it can get incredibly choppy. But I’m open to being wrong.
It’s pretty obvious that I went into this movie expecting something pretty fantastic. I mean, look at it. How has an idea like this not been done? Well, lets see how it holds up.
This is my honest opinion of: SAUSAGE PARTY
The story follows Frank (voiced by Seth Rogen), a hot dog who has a relationship with a hot dog bun named Brenda (voiced by Kristen Wiig). Their world is this grocery store and every item is eager for humans, or to them, “Gods,” to take them home to be cared for and loved in “the Great Beyond.” But it isn’t long before their reality comes into question. A far of honey mustard (voiced by Danny McBride) was chosen, only to be returned to the store in a state of horror and disbelief, calling everyone in the store doomed. But that doesn’t stop celebration when Frank’s package is chosen, as well as a package of buns with Brenda inside. Of course, everything goes wrong when the honey mustard refuses to go home with the God and tries to commit suicide. Frank tries to save him by getting out of his own package, but he and Brenda fall out of the shopping cart and get separated from the God and the rest of their brethren. As they search for a way back to their aisle in the store, Frank comes in contact with some non-perishables that reveal the horrendous fate that awaits all products in the store when they go home with the Gods. Frank, having a crisis in reality, is compelled to uncover the disturbing truth.
Tragically, this might be a short-ass review.
While not necessarily a disappointment, this movie does suffer from a few missteps. Okay, honestly, just one, but for some reason it’s a big flaw.
Get this… it suffers from too much story. Yeah, you’re not reading that wrong. That hilariously “violent” and brutal trailer about how food gets murdered… has too much story. Here’s what I mean. I won’t pretend to be Rogen’s biggest fan. I’m not. But a lot of his movie depict exactly what you’re expecting to get. In NEIGHBORS, do you want to see a married couple try and have some peace and quiet with their daughter by battle a younger generation for dominance? You’ll get exactly that. You wanna see a loser stoner with a foul mouth have to cope with the notion that he’s going to be a father? You’ll get that too. Do you want to see an animated movie about food getting horribly slaughtered by humans? You get that… in the trailers. Yeah, pretty much all the most noteworthy food genocide is in the trailers. I don’t want it to sound like there wasn’t a little bit more. After all, there is a douche (voiced by Nick Kroll) that makes time to kill plenty of other characters, but these scenes are far and apart and aren’t always dragged out for maximum comedy.
There are definitely a lot of sex puns, but again, for as many of them there are, there’s almost an equal amount of attempts at character and story development. First of all, since when was a Rogen picture worried about good story and good characters? Second, even that isn’t done very well.
When Frank meets the non-perishables, it’s revealed that once upon a time, the food in the market knew exactly what would happen to them. But for… whatever reason, Firewater (voiced by Bill Hader) created a mass lie that convinced everyone that the Gods were taking them to “the Great Beyond” to be cared for and loved because… insert bullshit reason here. If I had been writing this story, the food would already believe this stuff naturally. The Great Beyond is bright, regal-looking, but any returned products that try to convince everyone otherwise are shunned and ignored. Then kick off the story of Frank trying to warn everyone. This lie that was created seemed like a pointless and unnecessary addition. They don’t seem to profit from the lie in any way, and they even help Frank by pointing him in the direction to find proof that the Great Beyond is a lie. See the problem?
I’m just waiting for someone to attempt to force-feed me my own words by telling me, “Daniel! You’re actually analyzing the story?! Did you even see the trailer?!” To which I would say, yeah, I’m analyzing the story because the movie presented me a story to analyze. It’s a lame story, but because this movie really wasn’t just a straight forward survival-horror dark comedy about food trying to survive human cravings, and does try and make me care about whether or not Frank and Brenda will get together in the end, it’s unfortunately distracting. Like I said, when the sex puns are in full swing, and when the food is getting murdered, it’s hilarious and does hold the film together. I can’t exactly say that I enjoyed this movie all the way through, I also can’t hate it either. It’s a stupid little movie that is enjoyable when it’s doing what it does best. I’ll probably be in the minority amidst the sea of viewers who were able to look past the “story” and enjoy it for what they were getting, so… yeah, fuck me, right?
My honest review of SAUSAGE PARTY: 3/5
- FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HszfdNS0JSc
Upcoming hopeful review:
- HELL OR HIGH WATER
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQoqsKoJVDw