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Sausage Party: Team America meets Toy Story

By Jonathan Shuping

How’s this for a creative team: writers Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (Superbad, This is the End) join forces with directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. Vernon’s previous credits include animated Dreamworks films like Shrek 2 and Madagascar 3, while Tiernan’s filmography consists almost entirely of Thomas & Friends shorts. Yes, the blue steam engine.

With that unique blend of talents in mind, anyone who has seen the trailer (especially the red band one) for Sausage Party should know going in that it is going to be vulgar and offensive. It is, after all, the story of food items discovering that their existential purpose is not to be selected by humans for enlightenment as they thought, but rather to be eaten. Eaten VERY violently, I might add. There are no punches pulled, no words minced.  So if that sort of thing is off-putting to you, kindly move along.

sausage party - clture
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

But if you’re a fan of, say, Team America: World Police, then absolutely positively see this movie! Like that classic action-puppet masterpiece, once the shocking novelty of the cursing cartoons wears off, the hilarity sticks around, and it really gets funnier as the movie goes along.

While there’s nothing extraordinarily profound about its story and it doesn’t have a Pixar-sized heart, Sausage Party is essentially an R-rated, food-related Toy Story. There’s that level of depth to the cleverness to these characters and their respective outlooks. There’s the jar of sauerkraut with a Hitler ‘stache who’s constantly accusing the juice of being the source of all problems (just say it out loud), the Jewish bagel in an endless feud with the Muslim falafel over shelf territory, the omniscient piece of chewed gum in a wheelchair who sounds like Stephen Hawking, and of course the bag of douche (Nick Kroll) who is a total douchebag.

sausage party - clture
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

You may not like watching how hot dogs are made, but you can’t deny they’re delicious. Regardless of how this band of misfits came together and made this labor of love happen, the outcome is unmistakably fun and fresh. When I go to the grocery store this weekend, I’ll have a newfound respect for the consumables in my cart.

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

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