Seth Rogen stars as Frank the sausage and Kristen Wiig stars as Brenda the bun in Sausage Party. (Credit: Sony Pictures)
This is the End is one of the funniest – and raunchiest – comedies I had ever seen. Ever since then, every comedy I see is compared to that film. Now, the guys behind This is the End, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, are back with a new comedy. When I first heard about the movie, I was at once excited and hesitant. Would they be able to strike comedy gold twice? Trust me. You will never look at grocery shopping the same way again after seeing Sausage Party.
In the totally subversive, yet surprisingly layered comedy, life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage, Brenda (Kristen Wiig) the hot dog bun and Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) anxiously wait to go home with an immortal god (a customer). Soon, their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually be eaten. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked food items devise a plan to escape from their human enemies.
Two more of the all-star cast members voice dual roles. Bill Hader stars as both Firewater, the wise leader of the non-perishables and El Gauco, a guacamole gangster. Scott Underwood hilariously voices both a Twinkie, aptly named Twink, and an unnamed, intelligent wad of Stephen Hawking-like gum. They are joined by Jonah Hill as Carl, one of the sausages; Michael Cera as Barry, another one of the sausages; James Franco as Druggie, a human drug addict; Danny McBride as Honey Mustard; Craig Robinson as Mr. Grits; Paul Rudd as Darren, the teenage supermarket employee; Nick Kroll as Douche (literally and figuratively); David Krumholtz as Vash, a lavash; and Salma Hayek as Teresa, a taco.
I need to start out by telling you that there is no way I will be able to give this review any justice without being able to rewatch the movie so I could pause and write down all the sight gags and jokes. You know how a recurring gag on The Simpsons are the porno movie names on the movie theater? Sausage Party does a similar play on words with the food labels. Once I noticed this, I was straining to see every label.
Remember, I wasn’t able to write these down so I’m going from memory so I could be a little off. Some of the “brand” names included Pu Ping Chinese food, Pislitz (say it slowly) potato chips, Butt Nutter peanut butter, Cherry Popper cocktail mix and many more. There’s even a brand of Paradise pre-packaged meatloaf – who sings. (If you don’t get this, well, look it up.)
Sausage Party is brought to you by the same studio that brought you Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Though both films are animated comedies about food, Sausage Party (which I would hope you could guess by the name alone) is not for kids. It’s a hard R. In fact, Seth Rogen admitted that they had to trim scenes to avoid the dreaded, box office kiss of death NC-17 rating. As a kid, I loved the sight gags in the Cloudy book about food falling from the sky. As an adult, I loved the sight gags involving the food again.
The adult food was angry when someone was eating the baby carrots yelling, “she’s eating the children!” You could almost feel the pain of the broken can of chicken noodle soup as it’s trying to put the fallen noodles back inside its can. There’s the Oreo holding on to the second chocolate wafer that had fallen off. You don’t have a soul if you don’t have empathy for the potato as it’s being peeled. And you won’t be able to unsee the kernels of corn, still alive, trapped in a pile of poop. Speaking of poop, one of the best lines of the film happens when the food meet toilet paper for the first time and ask what he does. Toilet paper replies, “you don’t want to know.”
Just as with This is the End, I can’t wait to rewatch Sausage Party to catch all the gags I missed the first time. For the first five or ten minutes of the movie or so, I thought it was going to be a stinker. Then, it’s joke after joke and sight gag after sight gag. And again, just like This is the End, it builds up to a satisfying, and rousing ending. In Sausage Party’s case though, it’s an arousing ending. Remember the sex scene with Keanu Reeves and the three brides in Bram Stoker’s Dracula? That four way has nothing on the five way that starts off the, um, climax of the movie. Remember when the definition of food orgy just meant to devour a lot of food? That will change after seeing Sausage Party.
A lot of things will change after seeing Sausage Party. You will never look at grocery shopping the same way. Or cooking. Or eating. Or sex. Or “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen. One thing that won’t change? Your stomach ache from laughing too much instead of eating too much.
Sausage Party opens in theaters August 12th.