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Film Review: “Sausage Party” is unappetizing and unappealing

Grade: D

There’s no doubt that Seth Rogen’s newest comedic work “Sausage Party” has received a lot of hype since its initial previews. In case you have missed the teaser trailers (of which there are plenty on channels all across YouTube), they show how any grocery store can be far more than what meets the eye.

It’s rated R, so the people over at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are certainly not slouching when it comes to telling parents that this really isn’t made for children. So parents, save yourself an uncomfortable post-screening talk with your kids. However, some of “Sausage Party” is even unsuitable, or at least uncomfortable, for ordinary adults to watch as well that’s further exemplified by the use of distasteful curse words and grossly obscene gestures. At times it seems the film’s writers went out of their way to try to get a chuckle rather than developing a clever plot and script.

This film does feature some big names, however. Rogen himself voices the stir-crazy and determined sausage Frank, while Kristen Wiig plays his lovely counterpart, a hot dog bun named Brenda. Edward Norton, Salma Hayek and Jonah Hill also make appearances in some of the major roles.

What “Sausage Party” proves is that Rogen has continued his trend of making mediocre comedy films. It’s obviously difficult to tell how well he does at acting based on this animated film, but in terms of writing, the whole story seems a mess. Honestly, if they took the story and remade it into an appropriate PG version, it might have better success. Rogen has always seemed to have much more potential when it comes to his acting skill, but that ability is pointlessly wasted on box-office comedy busts. A sneak peek at his true ability to act came during his performance as Steve Wozniak in the 2015 biopic “Steve Jobs.” The Maine Campus reviewed this film last year and it was noted that although Rogen seemed out of his comfort zone, he succeeded in his given role.

Most of the trouble with “Sausage Party” didn’t come from its animation. Don’t draw your attention away from the screen for one minute if you’re watching it, because when you return, you may lose the story. There seems to be a scheme of several different plots running parallel to each other throughout the film, which was thankfully short (about one hour and 29 minutes). One of the plots that exists is Frank’s mission to discover what humans do to food and why they need to be stopped. Another is Carl’s mission (Jonah Hill) to find a way back to his friends. Both of these seem straightforward and will eventually link up somewhere along the way. The most distracting plot line features Frank’s persistent attempts to “get with” Brenda, which eventually leads to a finale that’s strictly suitable for adults.

Apparently Rogen is already considering producing a sequel to “Sausage Party” and more films to fit the adult animation genre, which could be a mistake considering many movies who see box-office success will not see the same success or ratings in a sequel.

Some viewers can always appreciate any comedy film, raunchy or not. So if you’re one of those who can’t get enough of the sacred art of satire, by all means go see this film. For others, you may want to watch this one on home media.

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