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Review: Sausage Party

(L-r) Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogan and Ed Norton in Columbia Pictures' SAUSAGE PARTY

Respect for other people and their beliefs is something that we shouldn’t have to talk about as adults. It’s something that anyone who is tolerant does even if they don’t agree with another person’s stance or value system. This obviously isn’t always the case however. And as seen in a movie like Sausage Party, having people who have this shortsighted approach to life speaking on touchy subjects probably isn’t the best way for Hollywood to go about things.

The movie is about food and other products living life in the grocery store. The main character we follow is Frank (Seth Rogen), a sausage who comes to learn what life is like after you leave the supermarket. Once he finds out, Frank decides to do whatever it takes to let the rest of his friends know what he now knows. This becomes difficult, but with enough tenacity, he’s determined to see it through.

For the sake of not spoiling the movie, I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that Sausage Party doesn’t try to hide that it’s blatantly anti-Christian and views God as evil. Some people obviously won’t like that, but I would imagine that at least some will actually revel in it. If that matters to you, this could either help or hurt the movie and all that it’s preaching to its audience. If you don’t fall into either one of those categories, you’ll likely just judge the movie on the comedy that it’s offering.

If you’re one of those people, you’ll likely find that the comedy in Sausage Party could have been better. There are some funny parts, but those are mostly in the early stages as they unleash a hailstorm of sexual innuendo concerning things like forcefully inserting hotdogs/weiners into buns. While that received a bit of a reaction from me, the rest of what’s seen here is ultimately still just Seth Rogen doing what he’s been doing since he’s gained relevancy.

I can’t really criticise him for that since he has some kind of following that likes this stuff for some reason, but it’s more of the same and it will still be hard to find amusing if you’re the type of person who prefers actual comedy over the uncomplicated use of excessive vulgarity that he and his clan have built their brand on.

In fact, this being animated is essentially the only thing that separates this attempt at comedy from Rogen’s previous and likely future endeavors. This will also aid in the movie getting a better than normal reception for a Seth Rogen picture from some people. It’s understandable when you think about it because we’ve all grown up watching cuddly cartoon characters. So taking that and turning it into something as boorish as this could make things funnier than it would be if actual people were saying and doing what’s being said and done here.

In some weird way, it’s kind of the same reason why we give animated films a pass for being sappy and wholesome. They allow us to see things in a way that is usually unacceptable in the eyes of many in modern America. These days, many of us are more cynical and abrasive, so maybe animation lets us journey back to a more innocent time in our lives where being guilt free was as easy as waking up on Saturday mornings.

I’m not really a fan of putting messages in film where we end up being forced to listen to some kind of sermon, but that’s essentially what we have here. This is basically telling you to kill the thought of a “higher power” so you can live to sleep around and have no rules. Now, I don’t care if that’s what people choose to do in their personal lives, but one would think there would be more of a reason to exist than just partaking in this rare form of debauchery. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but I would hope that wanting to knock off God or getting rid of the world’s moral structure would have some greater purpose.

There are other issues concerning the oversimplification of life, religion and morality that’s seen here, but I won’t go too much deeper. After all, this is Hollywood. Should I really expect anything other than them oversimplifying something as complicated as our very existence? The vast majority of their films centered around messages reduce whatever it is that they’re preaching in support of and against into something that’s too basic and rudimentary. Unfortunately, Sausage Party is no different.

Not every nonreligious person is about living life in the manner that’s being celebrated here. Many of them choose to live a more conventional existence just because they want to live life in a more prudent fashion. That’s something that you know and should be able to understand just by being around a diverse group of people.

Not only that, but saying that people who choose a religious or spiritual path do so out of fear isn’t what anyone can consider a fair assumption. Some of them just grew up in a family like that. Some are searching for some form of salvation and maybe a better life. Others are looking to gain a sense of direction while others open themselves up to it because they simply don’t believe we just came from nowhere for no reason. As you can see, the answer is not always so transparent.

Ultimately, Sausage Party is a shortsighted attempt at promoting one belief system and devaluing another. It’s crude, it’s unbalanced and difficult to respect. It will have its supporters, but it’s nowhere near what it could have been due to its inability to remain funny and do something aside from try to offend. This is what these guys do though. I don’t know if they are actually capable of doing much more than this kind of stuff, but it would be nice to see them actually try more often.

Directors:
Conrad Vernon
Greg Tieman

Cast:
Seth Rogen
Kristen Wiig
Jonah Hill
Bill Hader
Michael Cera
James Franco
Danny McBride
Craig Robinson
Paul Rudd
Nick Kroll
David Krumholtz
Edward Norton
Salma Hayek

Film Length: 88 minutes

Release Date: August 12, 2016

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

  • Score - 3/10
    3/10
3/10
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