Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon Starring: the voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek Verdict: Live by the sword, fry by the sword
IS Sausage Party the dirtiest film of 2016? Unquestionably. And unashamedly. Really, how could it not be? There’s no polite way to summarise the plot. So look away now if you’d rather keep the day all squeaky clean.
This is the story of a hot dog named Frank (voiced by Seth Rogen) whose one goal in life is to be lodged within a bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig).
Is Sausage Party the funniest film of 2016?
Not quite. But it is up there in the ROFL rankings in what admittedly hasn’t been a great year for cinematic chuckles. First, a word of warning (as if that single-entendre title was not enough of one): this animated (yes, animated) comedy is not for the faint of heart, nor delicate of constitution.
The screenplay has been co-penned by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and in keeping with a majority of projects to spring from these like-minded lairs – we’re talking movies like Superbad, Pineapple Express and This is the End – Sausage Party’s “adult” humour inevitably goes with its groin ahead of its gut.
In what can only be described as a tawdry tearing-up of the Toy Story template, the action takes place mostly after-hours on the aisles and shelves of a suburban supermarket.
All products for sale are walking, talking and (wouldn’t you just know it?) sex-obsessed beings, and shoppers are none the wiser.
Wisdom is not the strong suit of the pre-packaged heroes of this tale, either. Everybody thinks to be purchased and taken home by a consumer to what is known as “The Great Beyond” is the equivalent of being transported to paradise.
There have been occasional rumours of products being stabbed, carved up, boiled and eaten, but these are still just rumours.
Though Sausage Party is above all else a carnally inclined cartoon, there is more to the movie than just being Pixar with a potty mouth. (Another warning : F-bombs are detonated every few seconds, as are explosive expletives from across the cussing alphabet.)
Look (and listen) past Sausage Party’s unrelenting perfect storm of profanity, and there is actually a semi-sophisticated allegory in play concerning the dangers of blind faith in religion, blind prejudice along ethnic lines, and blind intolerance of sexualities that do not conform to all norms.
While it won’t be winning any awards for amazing wit, there is no denying Sausage Party is grappling with (or is that groping?) more themes and issues than any liveaction comedy in recent memory.
One final warning : Sausage Party saves its best-worst for last, closing with a truly astonishing sequence destined to disturb, disgust and delight any damaged mind who thinks they’ve seen it all.