Where’s The Meat? – ★½
I imagined that if I was a 16 year old pot head that I would have appreciated Sausage Party much more. I then thought I’m probably being too harsh on stoned 16 year olds. It’s the latest offering from the people behind Superbad, Pineapple Express and This Is The End, so you know what to expect. The twist here is that the film is animated. Food can talk and understand each other and comes to learn the horrid truth of their fate at the hand of humans.
The main arc of the film is a love story between a hot dog called Frank (Seth Rogen) and a hot dog bun called Brenda (Kristen Wiig). Their whole existence is to be chosen by a human so that finally Frank can get all up in Brenda’s bun. When an accident causes them to break loose from their respective packages, they must navigate the supermarket to return safely to their shelf before going stale. Along the way they meet a string of stereotype foods; a Jewish Bagel with Ed Norton doing a gay Woody Allen for the voice, a bottle of Firewater whiskey representing a Native American voiced by Bill Hader, Salma Hayek as a taco and Bill Hader once again as a bottle of Tequila portrayed as a Mexican, so racist it makes Speedy Gonzales seem progressive.
The person coming out the best of all this is Michael Cera as Barry, a vertically challenged hot dog. He is just playing himself and his character is the only one with any depth taking a much darker turn in the final act of the film. Rogen is trying to be Woody from Toy Story and he just doesn’t have the acting clout of Tom Hanks nor does the film have anywhere near the same class of writing. The jokes are clunky and repeated ad nauseam. It tries to take meaningful looks at religion, the state of society and male-female relations. It fails as they are too obvious and have been done better before and in animated form.
“South Park”, if it hasn’t already, will eventually be seen as one of the greatest satires of modern television. “Rick and Morty” is hilariously dark science fiction and “Bojack Horseman” makes Don Draper look like John Boy Walton. Sausage Party cheapens animation and drags it back into the mire of something lesser.
They’re not even sausages they’re fucking hot dogs.
Sausage Party opens nationwide Friday September 2nd