As a big fan of movie trailers, when I look back over those that have had a significant impact, Sausage Party will be in a prime position. As it begins, I was expecting a silly, sub par animation for the whole family; and from the moment that potato was peeled, I realised that this may just be something special. And I laughed throughout the whole clip.
And so, for the first time since South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), an animated movie finally gets an R-rating in America. And for those of you with a sense of humour as immature as mine, you're left wondering why its been so long. The South Park movie has and will always be something I go back to regularly and it was the first film I watched for a second time immediately after seeing it for the first. It still holds up well to this day and is a shining beacon of how an animated movie can be equal measures of mature and immature while being excellent.
Sausage Party stars Seth Rogen as the voice of the aptly named sausage Frank. We join Frank in his packet of fellow sausages (including Michael Cera as subplot hero Barry and Jonah Hill as Carl) as they prepare to be bought as part of an Independence Day special offer. Kristen Wiig costars as Brenda, Frank's bread roll girlfriend, and they hope to be purchased with one another so that they can finally escape their packaging and be together. Cue admittedly amusing smutty jokes about penetration that set the tone for the rest of the movie. When an agitated jar of honey mustard is returned to the supermarket by a customer, he recounts some haunting stories about the 'great beyond' and the horrors he has seen, Frank is forced to question his reality and goes on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.
Sausage Party is a real blend of predictable jokes and puns about food products (the taco is Mexican, the rum is Jamaican; you get the idea) and commentary on society, religion, and culture. And although it likely won't challenge any of the audience's beliefs or perceptions, it could make you think twice about eating baby carrots.
Humour is, of course, subjective. For the sake of comedy Sausage Party is racist, sexist, homophobic and very offensive. But as long as you don't take it too seriously there are multiple scenes that are obscenely hilarious and it's been a very long time since I walked out of a cinema audibly laughing.
That being said, the biggest problem Sausage Party has is that it's an ugly film. The animation is poor and although the laughs come in early, it takes some time to get used to the look of the characters. Because many of the food products look quite basic this isn't a huge issue, but when humans are occasionally featured, they look cheap and are animated in a manner that comes across as lazy. It's forgivable, but it betrays the quality the rest of the product contains; the voice acting is excellent (Michael Cera being a real highlight) and the plot moves along at an entertaining pace.
With Sausage Party achieving strong results at the box office, there's a real potential for the medium of animation to become a real player for adult comedy movies. And with exceptional animated series on TV (such as shows like South Park and Rick and Morty), it would be very welcome on our cinema screens.