Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sausage Party

I had a pretty good idea of what to expect even before I considered whether or not I'd be willing to watch this movie.
Basically 'VeggieTales' with equally outdated graphics, plenty of awful puns and a side order of double (triple?) entendres.
Not really a movie I was dying to go see, but many of us ( and I stand at the front of the line, here) will rightfully complain about Hollywood's lack of original material to work with.
Still, I would rather watch this than the 'Ghostbusters' reboot because I am a man of principle!
So how did it go? Read on; I'm saving the big spoilers for the closing paragraphs.

Right off the bat, the story is introduced with a quick musical number ... which brings me to my first small complaint. Not the fact that there's a song at the beginning - though thankfully there are only 2 or 3 songs in the whole thing.
That alone didn't surprise me, and I even thought it a good idea to start off the story on a "higher note".
The bigger and recurring problem is that you're continuously bombarded with many quick gags which can be a real struggle to keep up with. You'll try to stay focused enough to "get" the inside jokes in between endless fast cuts, but if you're not thinking at lightning speed you'll definitely miss jokes you'll only get on a second or third viewing.
Spoilers: To be perfectly clear, I'll likely never sit down to watch this again in this lifetime.

So the story is as bland as an ungarnished 4th of July hot dog, but it makes what little sense it requires. Basically, food items daydream about the day they'll be chosen to be taken home, completely unaware that they're meant for human consumption.

Truth be told, I was completely onboard during the first half of the movie. The best and most satisfying act being a straight-up horror-movie scene which takes place when a woman puts down her groceries in the kitchen and starts preparing dinner. And then it all goes downhill from there.
The story, surprisingly, builds upon a solid foundation, but the second half feels too rushed and not as well blueprinted as the beginning.

Now, what you absolutely have to understand is the fact that this movie was made by several men-children. Being one myself, I can truly appreciate a really stupid movie if it's executed properly - especially considering the cast of voice actors involved.
This film is stuffed with plenty of offensive and politically incorrect humor, and I have to give the boys credit for pushing the envelope. The racist stereotypes and lgbt jokes as we travel along the ethnic food aisles can almost be described as "charming", even!
Unfortunately, certain jokes are uncomfortable to try to laugh at and are downright tasteless. It truly makes me wonder what -if anything- ended up getting scrapped for being too extreme.

I feel it a real problem when a film -or artist, or ... anyone, really- takes itself too seriously. In my eyes, however, it's an even bigger problem when you don't take yourself seriously enough. I can almost picture all of the talented idiots who put this together lighting up a joint and laughing to themselves,
"Bro! Can you believe, bro, the stupid bullshit we're putting out there that people are actually going to pay money to see??"
{insert awkward Seth Rogen laugh}


And it's an honest-to-god shame because even silly and immature shows like 'South Park' have proven to contain enough merit to teach certain life lessons. Sausage Party sets itself up as a story about standing up for what you believe even when the rest of the world seems to think otherwise.
It talks about the dangers of blind faith and surpasses even *that* concept by teaching about being sensitive enough to the feelings of those around you because their beliefs are as equally valid as your own. And if you wish to open their eyes to a 'higher truth', you'll be far more successful through civilized conversation rather than violent hate or derogatory speech.

Yes, this film actually reaches for that level of deepness if you're receptive enough, but then it shits on itself as it begs for laughs with a few too many gross-out gags.
Again, I'm not advocating for censorship! It just would've been an improved product had it enough self-respect to take itself a bit more seriously.

Spoilers below the grade and graphic below....


Final Grade: C+


Another serious highlight for my inner teenager was the living, breathing douche nozzle who becomes a serious antagonist as a Jersey Shore monster who literally consumes his fellow shopping products in order to grow stronger and more terrifying. Truly a character I loved too much to hate.
That said, the violent rape scene went too far for my liking and will definitely set off triggers in the audience.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers decided to go out with a bang - a dizzying gangbang which jackhammers on for too long and easily takes the cake for being one of the lowest points in the history of cinema.
A "sex scene" was certainly expected -if you can call it that- but a full-blown CGI-food orgy will lamentably make your ticket price seem all the more expensive for the laughs.