It’s not that hard to imagine how Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg came up with the idea for this animated film about food. A herbal substance and a poorly ventilated room probably had something to do with it. Baked off their tits, they shared a selection of snacks, making "ah, don’t eat me!" voices while shovelling hotdogs and Twinkies into their mouths. Eventually, one of them would have said something along the lines of: "What if this slice of pizza could talk?" With the help of several more bong hits, they developed that concept into a whole supermarket filled with living goods that, for no real reason, just want to fuck each other.
In case you needed clarification, Sausage Party is not a film for kids. It’s the adult answer to Toy Story, where instead of sweet, innocent playthings, we have aisles of foul-mouthed foods that look up to us humans as gods. It’s their dream to be purchased and taken to the Great Beyond, the world that exists outside the supermarket doors. They have no idea, however, that when the human that buys them gets them home they’re going to be mercilessly devoured.
The hero of the story is a hotdog called Frank (voiced by Rogen), whose sole purpose is to bury himself deep inside his bun girlfriend, Brenda (Kristen Wiig). After conversing with a distraught pot of honey mustard that’s just been returned to the store, Frank starts to have an existential crisis. He wants to find out the truth before all of his friends are reduced to unidentifiable mush in someone’s mouth.
If you’re an observant motherfucker, you will have identified the obvious religious satire here. But just for good measure, Rogen and Goldberg reiterate it as if it’s a totally original and complex idea; Frank tries to convince the others that they shouldn’t believe in the Great Beyond without any physical evidence. It’s the sort of message South Park would have conveyed about 20 years ago, but with a lot more subtlety and finesse. Racial stereotypes for different foods are also a predictable move, but a lavash yearning for his 77 bottles of virgin olive oil is undeniably funny.
Despite all of this, Sausage Party relies neither on its satire nor its swearing groceries, which wears off almost instantly after Jonah Hill’s hotdog drops the C-word in the first 10 minutes. It’s the unrelenting filth that really provides the sphincter-splitting laughs: a giant douche that wants to ram itself up a vagina, a lesbian taco that wants to taste Brenda’s bun, and a rather traumatic scene involving a condom. It gives a whole new meaning to "food porn".
When it's not pretending to be something cleverer and embarrassing itself like someone who's just learnt a new word but keeps misusing it, Sausage Party produces more entertaining filth than the underside of a Burger King counter.