Tyler K. Lopez
Well. Here we are. It’s Sausage Party time. Full disclosure, my soon-to-be-wife and I were looking forward to this movie ever since that epic red-band trailer from a few months ago. To prepare we had a beer, grilled up some bratwurst and veggies, and then headed over to watch a movie about how we utterly murdered some perfectly conscious creations. We expected it to be fun and raunchy and funny. What we didn’t expect was an actual coherent and poignant story! A story that is relevant for what’s going on in our world today in a weird and twisted way. And before you ask, I grill a mean brat. I know you were just about to ask. Before we jump in: this movie is completely and totally inappropriate for children. Absolutely do not bring your child to this movie unless you want your kids not only to have strange views on sex, or much worse question the meaning of their existence and what their place on Earth really means, or even WORSE- become vegans. Okay then! Let’s get started:
1- Writing: 9/10
The writing was superb. It was so superb it made me reach into my mind and pull out the proper descriptor for it, a word I hadn’t used in a while. The concepts that this movie juggled while still using food as a metaphor about everything from religion to sex to drug use and back to sex again were fantastic and playful. The only complaint I have is that the jokes really feel like another Pineapple Express, but hey! I loved that movie so what do I care really?
2- Direction: 9/10
Spoiler Alert: this is a strong animated movie. The actions are done well and creatively in ways that can only happen with animated movies and that should come as no surprise. The directors of this movie, Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, have done almost nothing but animated movies in their careers. Tiernan has worked on dozens of Thomas the Train Engine movies and Vernon directed Shrek 2 and Madagascar 3 (he also voiced the Gingerbread Man in Shrek!). Obviously this movie goes in a… different direction, but it’s still right up their alley.
3- Cinematography: 5/10
I mean c’mon guys it’s an animated movie. It’s not even one of those fancy anime movies or anything, it’s just a regular animated movie. There weren’t any special shots in this one.
4- Acting: 8/10
Of all the animated movies I’ve reviewed!… The acting in this one was pretty average. It gets a slightly better than average score though because of the great work from Edward Norton. Norton’s Woody Allen impression was superb! (okay fine I’ll use another word next time). Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig were fine and Michael Cera was pretty great, but it really wasn’t the kind of movie that needed super strong acting.
5- Editing: 7/10
Not bad. No big problems with pace or anything although the talking ran a little bit, but not bad… Next!
6- Sound: 8/10
The sound in this movie was great and really helped create this weird world they built with talking food and talking inanimate objects. There were squishes and squashes and wooshes and washes and all sorts of things that help the imagination go to weird, dark places!
7- Soundtrack: 9/10
The music in this movie was nearly perfect! The music absolutely suits what you’re seeing on screen and like any other animated movie serves a purpose. I loved the music in this one and I won’t go on longer because there’s at least one cool and clever cameo!
8- Production Design: 9/10
What can I say? This was made by creative guys and directed by guys who do animated movies for a living. It looked fantastic and the world they built was clever and entertaining like any good animated movie should be.
9- Casting: 8/10
This is another section that Edward Norton completely saves. I seriously can’t get over his “Jewish accent” which is just Woody Allen. It’s hysterical. Other than that, just about everyone else in the movie is in the greatest hits of Seth Rogen’s career: James Franco, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd and of course Jonah Hill. I mean they’re all good in their roles, but it’s not like they excel at it. Norton is the only one who takes it and does something other people (besides Woody Allen) couldn’t do.
10- Effects: 8/10
There were some moments that weren’t great, but the effects overall were as strong as you’d hope. If you watch Shrek and love the look and feel of it, then this movie is perfectly fine. Also Madagascar… Funny how that works.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Yeah… yeah that sounds about right. This movie was absolutely as advertised: it was raunchy, dark, and riddled with horribly clever metaphors. It lost me towards the end when it completely pushes past the typical movie tropes, but even that moment (you’ll know it when you see it) has shock value. Now comes the hard part: would I recommend it? Look for me, I found it hilarious. I thought it was funny and pushed boundaries exactly as you’d figure Seth Rogen and his crew would do. However, if you’re not comfortable critiquing religion or laughing at stupid, food-related sex jokes then this movie definitely isn’t for you. If you were born before 1960 or after 1992 then this movie might not be for you either. It is extremely, extraordinarily, and absolutely a hard R rating. However, If you’ve got some thick skin and want to laugh at a stupid cartoon while it struggles to make a point about the state of relationships around the world, then I totally recommend it!