There is no God, and we should all have as much sex as possible with as many people as possible. That is the clear message of Sausage Party, an animated comedy aimed squarely at adults that will undoubtedly prove spectacularly offensive to many audiences, especially Christian ones. Herewith upfront warnings for extremely strong language and sexual references throughout, as well as an eye-watering “food orgy” that has to be seen to be believed (or rather, won’t be by many of you, if this warning does its job).
Still here? Then you are, like me, one of those impossible-to-offend types for whom the afore-mentioned warning is a signal to rub your hands together with glee. Unfortunately, I have to deflate your excitement by informing you that Sausage Party is actually a bit of a bore.
Admittedly the premise is a nifty one: self-aware food characters in a supermarket long to be chosen by “the gods” (ie customers) for a life of paradise in the great beyond, courtesy of a religious teaching perpetuated by the “non-perishable” food items. But once we are introduced to Frank the sausage (Seth Rogan), whose (reciprocated) lust for roll Brenda (Kirsten Wiig) is perpetually frustrated by their belief that they have to “stay pure” by remaining in their packaging until chosen, the extreme crudity and obvious satire rapidly become numbing rather than shocking. Quite honestly weapon’s grade smut only gets me so far before I long for a little wit and sophistication to leaven the unending stream of funny-if-you’re-14 sex jokes.
Even as a Christian I can understand why Bible Belt Christianity has been targeted by the filmmakers (though they also target other religions). In addition there are tons of deliberately racist stereotypes – the politically correct logic being, if you poke fun at one race, you have to poke fun at them all. Again, most of this bored rather than offended me, although I have to confess I did chuckle a bit at the obvious Israel allegory, as a Jewish bagel and an Arab pitta bread argue over “settlements” in their aisle, with the pitta bread also noting that when he reaches paradise, he will be given 77 bottles of extra virgin olive oil. There was one other time I laughed a little – at an agreeably bad taste joke about a Nazi type movement within the sauerkraut (they want to exterminate the “Juice”).
Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon no doubt hope Sausage Party is seen as a subversive and clever, but to my mind it achieves neither of those aims. Instead it’s just a crassly transparent atheist sermon wrapped in a tedious avalanche of filth, more filth, annoying in-jokes, even more annoying “meta” plot twists, and a whole load of filth. Did I mention the filth? To be fair filth can be funny, but here, in the end, it just gets boring.
If you’re still curious, don’t say I didn’t warn you.