‘Sausage Party’ Wants You to Release Your Intellectual Shackles

Unseen to our consumerist eyes, food is alive and capable of speech, weiner jokes, and the wearing of little white gloves and all of them dream of being bought and taken to the afterlife by the Gods (that’s us, by the way), but when a little sausage accidentally learns the truth – that the Gods eat food and that the afterlife is a lie – he goes on a quest to find proof and warn all of his fellow foodstuffs in the grocery store.

Imagine Toy Story… now add sex, gay, and ethnic jokes and you’ve pretty much got Sausage Party from Seth Rogan and his usual band of conspirators. I’ll admit, this movie is funny and, in a way, it’s actually pretty witty about what it’s trying to say — the basic message that religion is blinding and dividing us. Sure, that’s not a message that not a lot of people are going to like, but if you’re the type of person who actually sits through the entirely of a movie like Sausage Party, you can’t be that overly religious anyway.

This movie is a hysterical and somewhat subversive stab at belief systems and common decency. It’s as crude as you would expect and then, amazingly, gets cruder than you were expecting, culminating in an ending celebration of filth that is probably the most graphic display I have ever witnessed in a mainstream American movie. That says something… in a world desensitized by South Park and every other cartoon that wants to be South Park, it says something when you watch Sausage Party and hear your own voice saying, “OMG… what am I watching!?”

I guess that’s what I liked about Sausage Party the most is that, even when you get exactly what you think you’re going to get from this movie, it gives you a bit more. It’s more clever and thoughtful than you are expecting. It’s actually got something to say, not only to the blindly religious, but also to the militantly Atheist. At its core, Sausage Party becomes a story of individuals realizing that they are morally and intellectually shackled and, as those shackles fall away, they find themselves more and more aware.

Sure, many of the jokes fall flat and there are a few times that I think the raunchiness could have been dialed back, but the rapid fire delivery of the script, the spirited voice performances, the cleverness of the story, and just the whimsical weirdness of the entire situation won me over. I loved this sick, nasty little movie and its sick, nasty characters. Not only does it cover all of the tropes of a sex comedy, drug comedy, and parody of animated kids movies, but it also sets out to offend everyone and does a fine job of it. It’s juvenile, but not mean. It’s stupid, but at the same time, smart.

Sausage Party isn’t up to the same level as the South Park movie in terms of political/religious satire, but it has something to say and it says it without apology to both sides. You’ve got to admire that kind of spunk… even though, at times, it’s obvious and delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

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