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Non-Review Review: Sausage Party

Perhaps the most charming thing about Sausage Party is that it exists in the first place.

After all, a computer-generated animated movie about foul-mouthed hyper-violent and aggressively sexual anthropomorphised food products was always going to be something of a tough sell. More than that, there was always a risk that the film’s best joke could not sustain the necessary ninety-minute runtime. “Let’s do an R-rated comedy animated in the style of a Dreamworks or Pixar film!” is very wry, but it seems like the kind of idea that brews in the early hours of the morning at a wild party and is promptly forgotten.

Food for thought...

Food for thought…

At one point in Sausage Party, the heroic hotdog Frank encounters a group of ancient foodstuffs hiding out in the liquor aisle of the shopping market that he calls home. These old and experience foodstuffs recall how they carefully cultivated and curated the mythology of the supermarket, building a religion that treated consumers as “gods” and which encouraged the store’s food and drink to dream of being “chosen.” There is even a hymn that the food sings every morning. A wisened old liquor bottle explains that this whole plan was the result of a massive stoner session.

In some ways, Sausage Party feels like it had a similar genesis, beginning with a goofy joke among friends that escalated and evolved into a surprisingly fleshed-out and developed world. Sausage Party works remarkably well given that it is essentially one very clever joke spread across ninety minutes, padded out with healthy doses of absurdity and puns. While the movie can occasionally feel a little indulgent and meandering, that charm carries it a long way. Sausage Party is one extended gag, but it is just about funny enough to pull it off.

Sweet mother of mercy...

Sweet mother of mercy…

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