Sausage Party Review: Throw Away the Leftovers

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The new comedy frat pack has proven that they’re smarter than this. Seth Rogen’s writing and acting troupe delivered a hilarious riff on Hollywood and the end of the world just a few years ago with This is the End. But Sausage Party, with a promisingly ridiculous premise, should have lived up to the group’s past. Instead, it replaces genuine humor with extra profanity and a clever animated food gimmick with a dull story to accompany it.

It’s business as usual, ticking off the typical Rogen boxes, except surprisingly lifelessly this time around. The story follows a hot dog (Rogen) as he courts a bun (Kristen Wiig) in a supermarket where the gods (humans) take the them to the afterlife to live happily ever after. Only we know otherwise. Much like our world, the aisles of the store develop their own cultures and values. Sausage Party may be one of the few movies this year to get away with stereotyping simply because it works them to its advantage for the few jokes that actually land. For example, a flat bread (purporting Middle Eastern stereotypes) and a bagel (purporting Jewish stereotypes) spend the movie arguing about who stole who’s “land.” It’s the only running gag that really works. The rest is just Rogen smoking weed, but as an anthropomorphic hot dog this time.

The themes of unifying despite our differences gives the film a manufactured topicality that just feels like another box being checked off. This is a film only interested in one aspect of itself: talking food doing raunchy human things. While that does sometimes deliver, it’s one idea, and not a big enough one to carry a 90-minute movie. The script lazily stirs in food puns everywhere it can, but the ingredient it’s missing most is passion. Who really wanted to make Sausage Party after the initial brainstorm? The end result is a half-baked, in every sense of the phrase, film that feels like it was at the bottom of Rogen and company’s idea list. Grade: D+

By Matt Dougherty

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