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Running Time:
1 hr. 29 min.

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Despite the fact that it is definitely offensive, but it backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio; and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline. Under no circumstances should you bring the kids, though boys of a certain age will be dying to sneak in, parental wishes notwithstanding.

Additional Info:
Featuring the voices of:
Jonah Hill ... Carl
Alistair Abell ... Mariachi Salsa / Gefilte Fish
Iris Apatow ... Berry Good Candies / Coconut Milk
Sugar Lyn Beard ... Baby Carrot / Cookies
Michael Cera ... Barry
Ian James Corlett ... Apple / Tickilish Licorice / Relish / Bag of Dog Food
Michael Daingerfield ... Chunk Munchers Cereal / Light Bulb / Indian Chutney
Brian Dobson ... Italian Tomato / Lettuce
Michael Dobson ... Queso
James Franco ... Druggie
Bill Hader ... Firewater / Tequila / El Guaco
Ian Hanlin ... Beet
Salma Hayek ... Teresa
Maryke Hendrikse ... Popped Cherry Mixer / Plum #1 / Loretta Bun / Frozen Fruitz
Anders Holm ... Troy

Sausage Party
In a supermarket called Shopwell’s, anthropomorphic merchandise greets every morning extolling the chance to be taken to the “great beyond” (i.e., purchased) by the “gods” (human customers)—something they’ve been indoctrinated to believe will bring them bliss.
A hot dog named Frank (voiced by Seth Rogen) aches to be bought alongside his girlfriend, bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig), so they can finally join together, and to their joy their packages are in fact tossed into a shopping cart by a comely housewife (Lauren Miller). But one of her many other items is a bottle of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) that’s been returned to the store having seen what actually happens to the foodstuffs in the “great beyond.” In trying to escape the cart he causes it to turn over, with all the would-be purchases left in the aisle in an amusing scene reminiscent of a disaster movie. Some are so ruined they’re tossed out, like a douche named Douche (Nick Kroll), who becomes a manic villain, rejuvenating himself crudely with a damaged box of juice and aiming at revenge on Frank and Brenda.

They, meanwhile, have joined with two other edibles, wimpy bagel Sammy Jr. (Edward Norton) and snooty lavash Vash (David Krumholtz)—who constantly bicker in a reflection of Middle Eastern animosities—and all are saved from Vash by taco Teresa (Salma Hayek), who’s got the hots for Brenda. Eventually Frank learns from the imperishibles Firewater (Bill Hader), Grits (Craig Robinson) and Twink (Scott Underwood) that they concocted the whole “great beyond” hoax.

But the other merchandise won’t believe him until Barry (Michael Cera), an oddly-shaped sausage and Frank’s chum, returns from the outside after an adventure with a goofy human druggie (Paul Rudd) to report on what it’s really like, with human slicing and dicing folk like his fellow wiener Carl (Jonah Hill). Helped by Gum (Scott Underwood), a Stephen Hawking type in a battery-powered wheelchair, they lead a rebellion against the store’s customers and staff, finishing off Douche in the process.

There have been very adult-oriented animated movies before; you only have to recall Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat, the X-rated 1972 picture based on Robert Crumb’s comic, which became a huge hit and inspired others of its kind (including a sequel). There have been others since, like Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa. The fact that it’s exceptionally risqué by cartoon standards, though, is hardly enough to make this a “Party” you’d want to visit. Nor is the fusillade of profanity (more F-bombs than you could possibly count), sniggering sexual business (a concluding orgy that’s pretty astonishing, even it’s all among comestibles) and drug jokes (one ending in a pretty grisly gag involving human decapitation—although in this context that’s not much more disturbing than seeing baby carrots get sliced to bits).

What’s more interesting is how the script raises the issue of conflict between rationality and religious belief, though of course it doesn’t do so terribly deeply. And while its ethnic stereotyping might initially come across as crude, in the end it’s used to convey a “let’s all get along” message that’s applied to Middle Eastern foes, people with different sexual preferences and immigrants, legal or not. (Issues of racial difference seem to be missing, but you can’t have everything.) In short, Rogen wants to deliver some nice messages, even though in his customary gross-out terms. And it has to be said that the production quality is fine—good special effects  animation and pro voice work down the line.

So Sausage Party obviously aims to have something to offend everybody, and at that it succeeds pretty well. But though its veneer of fast-moving, innocent fun isn’t quite so convincing, the vulgarity proves to be funnier in cartoon form than it usually is in Rogen’s live-action comedies. The result is a movie that’s clearly not for everyone, but those at whom it’s targeted–whether allowed to enter according to the R rating or not–will find it a hoot.

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