12 August, 2016

"Sausage Party" Review (***½)

Editor's note: Christopher Escobar is probably the busiest man in Georgia. In addition to his duties as Executive Director of the Atlanta Film Society, Executive Director of the Plaza Theatre Foundation, Filmmaker/Owner of Escobar Pictures and Vice President of Georgia Production Partnership—plus his roles as a father and husband—he is also making his film review debut here at Reel Georgia. We are lucky to have him on board to share his thoughts with us. -CM 

"Sausage Party" provides a thematic foil to the animated offerings of Pixar.

Until now, I haven't been—by any stretch—a film reviewer or someone who considers my opinion about films all that important. But I know that a lot of people are curious about "Sausage Party" and are on the fence about seeing it. To cut to the chase—yes, it's worth seeing if you can handle really crude humor. Should you see it in the theaters? I'll let you decide.

As for the film's chief strengths, there are some really funny puns, moments and character relationships. I laughed pretty hard quite a few times. There is a great cast and everyone does a fantastic job with their role.

The animation is top notch! Seth Rogen (who wrote, produced and stars in the film) said they put a ton of effort into giving it a Pixar feel—which is a huge part of the humor, the shock of these characters talking and acting this way, even though they so closely resemble the characters we see in Pixar's much more wholesome films. Already an R-rated animated film about the secret life of food, it is clear that the filmmakers said, 'why the hell not, we can do whatever we want.' Major kudos must be given for their refusal to hold anything back. They find some great ways to work in religious, political and other topics into the world metaphor.

"Sausage Party" is not without weaknesses, however. Drug references really get old, feeling like they've been recycled from every Seth Rogen movie ever made, which were already borrowed from every Cheech and Chong movie ever made. At least in this case—and for the first time in his filmography—they eventually serve a purpose to move the story forward. Cursing is also over-used. I've got nothing against f-bombs but when you drop so many of them, what starts out as funny, gets old quickly and the audience is desensitized ten minutes in. Some of the jokes are lazy. There were a number of times I heard 'oh...' in the audience after one of the food characters made a joke—the same reaction as when your dad or boss just crackled a cheesy or corny pun. (No bun intended). See what I did there? Terrible. Just like that. Also, I didn't get why some inanimate object's were alive and some weren't, but I guess at a certain point it would all be too much.

The sound mixing leaves room for improvement—particularly in the singing portions. I found myself missing out on lines because the mix wasn't able to keep the singing from getting muddled with the music.

"Sausage Party" has an original and clever premise, yet somehow feels almost too familiar even though it's not been done before.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

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