First for some back-story.
It was a typical autumn evening when my girlfriend tried to convince me to see a film called Sausage Party. The sky was grey and rain was pouring down so rather than question why?
It made sense to take a trip to the VUE cinema on Croydon’s main high street.
Previously, I had seen the trailer for Sausage Party on a cinema visit to watch David Brent: Life on the Road.
I was intrigued by a concept of animated sausages, (voiced by actors Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill) alive as talking food in a supermarket.
Not just some really weird dream
I was surprised to learn of the $19million budget that Sausage Party had for its production. This film doesn’t have the classy animation aesthetics of a Pixar film but its production values aren’t far off. I get the feeling that both directors and producers had to call on many favours from crew members.
What’s more surprising is the ensemble cast that make up the voice work for the foodie type characters. Salma Hayek, James Franco, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton and comedy duo Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill complete the acting pedigree, lending their voices to the formidable food characters that learn and reshape the future of the “great beyond”.
By animation movie standards, this collection of actors is the definition of the Hollywood elite. However, somehow this film and its characters do not manage to connect on a level that lesser known actors who lend their voice in other Disney films, are able to make. The difference isn’t the subject. Yes, this film isn’t a U or PG-13 and perhaps this will isolate a large proportion of the movie going public who watch the archetypal animation film. However, it fails to deliver the fluidity and natural charm that is synonymous with a Disney film.
Perhaps I’m being unfair, perhaps comparing an adult comedy animation film to Disney animations is not an even match. If Rogen and Hill wanted to develop a memorable and humorous animation, this was not how to do it.
Around forty-five minutes into the film I found my attention span drifting out of the movie and into a daze. I began to blankly stare at the screen. That’s how long this film had my true attention for.
The gags became predictable and I started to imagine how Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill probably embarked upon the idea for Sausage Party during some drug-fuelled evening in one of their Hollywood mansions on Sunset Boulevard, each laughing at the others jokes and believing they were stumbling upon an instant hit.
There, that’s what this film is perhaps the biggest victim of… self indulgence. It is so clear throughout that by the grand finale and the inclusion of crafted shout outs to such classics like Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and Top Gun (1986), I had stopped caring about what was going to happen when the food finds out about the truth behind the great beyond.
If you leave two comedy giants to indulge their wildest imaginations you are left with Sausage Party. Whilst this film is by no means horribly abhorrent, it does sail wide of its intended comedic mark. The creators are given too much room to throw caution to the wind, leaving the jokes increasingly stale as the movie progresses. I’ve recently learnt that the concept for this film began in 2010 and for this I have downgrade its overall rating. It simply could be a lot better.
I laughed in a few places, I switched off in many places. Ultimately, I left the Croydon cinema having watched a quirky animation movie that had instantly forgettable jokes.
Do you like animation films? Why not check out my Five of the Best animations post here.