Sunday, 28 August 2016

'Sausage Party' Review (2016): Dark, Biting, Cartoon Comedy

Big Screen Watch: Not for everyone, but definitely something that deserves to be seen. I liked it a lot.
Anthropomorphisized animation is nothing new. There are probably hundreds of movies featuring a thing or creature being brought to life. It makes sense. There's definitely comedy to be found anytime you give human features to a non human. It's probably the best way to give your movie some heart too. To date though I can't think of one that's made sense all the way through. There's always something that breaks the world or doesn't compute when you think about it, but maybe I'm spending too much time thinking about movies where bugs have googly eyes.

'Sausage Party' is such a movie that probably wants you to think about it that much. Instead of toys, cars or fish, Sausage Party is a movie that asks the questions "What if food were alive?". What if the items in your local supermarket  were thinking, feeling beings with their own aspirations and desires. The answer of course is that they would soon realise they live a nightmare world where their only purpose is to provide fuel and services for humans.

Every time you open your fridge, your victims tremble with fear.
Naturally, a movie that takes such a dark turn would only be suitable if it were rated R. Any scene with a potato being peeled as it screams in agony would be enough to earn that rating. 'Sausage Party' though is not content with just enough. Think of the most offensive thing you could think of. The most raw and explicit thing you can imagine. 'Sausage Party' is worse than that. It doesn't push the envelope, it takes a high powered rocket and blasts it to the moon. 

In my book, that's fine. However I can think of a lot of people who would be put off by some of the content 'Sausage Party' delivers. It's a movie that tries to offend everyone it can think of. If you're the type to get offended by 'South Park' or 'Team America', this is not a movie for you. For me, while the jokes were sometimes a little juvenile, they were always funny, and for every joke that was too childish, there'd be about 4 or 5 that were quite clever. Like that picture of Einstein with his tongue out. Kind of stupid picture of a really smart guy.

It's a metaphor
That cleverness comes from the way 'Sausage Party' uses its characters. A lot of the foods have some cultural significance about them. For instance, two of the characters in the film are a Jewish bagel, and a Palestinian lavash. They're upset because they share the same aisle and both think they are the rightful owners. That's just one of the many subjects 'Sausage Party' decides to touch on, that most movies are content to leave be.

As much as it is a comedy, this movie has a very strong message about it. It might not seem like it, but 'Sausage Party' before it's done gives you a movie that looks at its vulnerable characters and examines their lives in a meaningful way. It has heavy content that will actually make you think about it after seeing it, and it might even help you gain some perspective in your own life. Then 5 minutes later there'll be another sex joke. Mixed bag really.

Like a bag of groceries. Screaming for freedom, from their cruel, hungry captors.
'Sausage Party' was better than I'd expected. I'd already expected a lot considering the creative team behind it. It's a movie that actually has characters you can get into and is brimming with creativity. So many moments will have you crying laughing, others will make you so uncomfortable you might want to leave the theatre. I'm more the former than the latter and for that, I'd definitely go out and see this movie again. If only just to see the reactions of the uninitiated, specifically at the last 10 minutes of the movie. That's stuff you just can't unsee.





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