Sausage Party: Seth Rogen Saves The Summer

sausage poster

Sausage Party Plot Summary:

The foods at Shopwell’s were always told a great beyond was waiting for them.  When a sausage (Seth Rogen) and his bun girlfriend (Kristen Wiig) are chosen by the humans, all hell breaks loose, as Frank begins to uncover the terrible truth.  He vows to warn all the remaining food before it’s too late.

I’ve always been the biggest Seth Rogen naysayer. It drives me mad at what people find so funny about this guy who looks like he’s been drinking beer in college for 15 years. I’ve railed against this man’s mediocre comedy for years, but now I understand what his purpose was all along. Sausage Party. This is Rogen’s career achievement. He will never do anything this good again, and I’m fine with that. Seth Rogen now has a special place in my heart.

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While I’ve been going on and on about Seth Rogen, there were many people who made Sausage Party the near masterpiece that it is. Stellar voice cast. Superb animation. Great direction (Greg Tiernan/Conrad Vernon). At the end of the day though, this is Rogen and his usual army of writers (Evan Goldberg/Ariel Shaffir/Kyle Hunter). From the very first trailer, they made it clear this was a hard R. It’s raunchy. Warped. The drug humor runs rampant. There are stereotypes galore. All the nonsense and jokes you would expect to be in this film are present. Most importantly though, it’s all hilarious. We don’t get a lot of funny movies these days. Savor this film. What I didn’t expect to get with Seth Rogen at the helm was an actual story that sticks with you more than the swearing and food sex.

This is a story about God. Our existence. Religion. Our quibbles and debates we have with each other. Does it sound like something Seth Rogen and his buddies talked about in a college dormitory while they were high one night? Yeah, it does. Is it laid on pretty thick? Oh, yes. We get it, Seth. You don’t believe in God. The film’s strength is watching these colorful characters learn about their world, and observing why they make the decisions that they make. Frank isn’t the most layered protagonist there is, but he’s a good sausage, and you see early on why he’s an easy guy to latch onto. What I loved about Frank was the lesson he ultimately learns. He learns the right way to unite people. It’s not shouting your opinions in people’s faces. It’s not hammering everyone on Facebook and Twitter. The lesson Frank learns is a lesson we could all stand to listen to. Wow. Am I really talking about a Seth Rogen movie right now?

Aside from Frank, this movie is packed to the shopping cart with gut-busting characters. Frank’s bun girlfriend, Brenda, is a fun character brought to life by Kristen Wiig, who rebounds nicely from Ghostbusters. Their relationship is written exceptionally well. Salma Hayek is bundles of fun as the sultry taco, Teresa. Nick Kroll (Ruxin from The League) is the perfect villain. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say his character is a real douche. Michael Cera is the most enjoyable he’s ever been as Barry, a deformed sausage. His little side journey legitimately moved me. He gets swept up in the most depraved situations. There’s also a piece of gum that had me in stiches. We also get non-foods that pop in and out that are down right hilarious.

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There are so many other characters and cameos that put a smile on my face, I can’t even keep track. I’m obviously biased towards Sammy Bagel Jr., a Jewish bagel voiced by Edward Norton, who should win an Oscar. I almost cried at how much I loved this character. My only gripe is that the bagel doesn’t really look like a bagel. I’m sorry, but it just seemed really small, and you can barely see the actual bagel hole! Maybe I take bagels too seriously, but it looked a little weird, ALRIGHT! Sammy gets into a tiff with a lavash bread. You can predict where that relationship goes.

That’s the kind of cleverness I’m talking about with this movie. Yes, you’ll get the shock gags that will make your jaw drop. You’ll get all the drug humor you could ever imagine. I’m sure at some point in the film you’ll get offended. Aside from all the raunchy gags, there are so many brilliant jokes and puns in this movie, it actually made me jealous of the comedic talent that went into this. That’s always the sign of a great comedy.

The movie isn’t perfect. The swearing is a little much at times, like ten-year-old’s discovering what a swear word is for the first time. The last scene gets too meta. It’s not always consistently funny, but that’s hard to do. All the problems are drowned out by how utterly awesome everything else is. I haven’t been able to mention half the elements I loved about this movie, including an unfortunate juice box incident. There’s even an incredible musical number.

In a summer of disappointments and regurgitated crap, this is the pot of gold at the end. It’s the talking food movie I’ve waited my whole life to see. Sometimes an artist will paint a thousand pictures. If one of them is great, it’s all worth it. This is Seth Rogen’s one great painting.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG)

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.