'Sausage Party'
Directors:
Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Voices of: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig
Rating: R
3 (out of 5) Globes

“Sausage Party” is an anarchic bit of summer movie fun. The premise is simple enough: Frank (Seth Rogen, his affable bro presence felt even in animated form) is a hotdog living an ignorantly cheerful life in a grocery store with all his other food friends. Before too long, Frank learns what really happens when food leaves the store. Chaos ensues as fruits, vegetables, meat and packaged goods fight for their lives and spew endless profanities. 

While the people onscreen are (intentionally) unattractive, the world of the supermarket is a twisted, hyper-detailed wonderland. Every shot is jam-packed with bright colors, sexual signifiers, and visual puns. As expected, the film flouts conventions of political correctness and paints ethnic stereotypes of the different foods with a broad brush. The treatment of the Israel-Palestine conflict as an ultimately homoerotic push-and-pull between two bread products truly must be seen to be believed. No (food) group is spared. 

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While the movie doesn’t run too long, there are moments when the shtick starts to wear thin. The “hot dog equals penis, bun equals vagina” jokes that guide much of the film are funny, but the audience may eventually start rolling their eyes. The lead up to the climactic all-out food orgy spectacular can feel like eating one too many hotdogs: fun, but a bit much. 

There hasn’t been much in the way of adult cartoons in recent years, and “Sausage Party”’s premise, with its demented take on “Toy Story,” is so simple yet ridiculous it’s hard to believe no one’s come up with it before. The film even touches on existentialism (what’s really out there?) and gets into meta “whoa, dude, we’re in a cartoon” moments. “Sausage Party” may work better as a short film or a TV episode (it owes an obvious debt to “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”), but it packs a number of laughs, from shocked yelps to knowing chuckles, into its 89 minutes. As parties go, it’s sillier and tastier than most. 

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