Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sausage Party (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

Seth Rogen Invites You to a“Sausage Party”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Don’t wander into “Sausage Party” with your kid, thinking it’s gonna be a cute Pixar-type movie about the secret life of food.

It is that. But, as it turns out, the foodstuffs in your grocery store lead a somewhat R-rated shelf life.

Don’t be surprised. Why wouldn’t you expect any movie from Seth Rogan (Pineapple Express,” “The Interview”) that’s titled “Sausage Party” to have an ample sampling of penis jokes and potty-mouth humor?

But beneath the frat-boy laughs there’s actually a serious theological dialectic. Honest to God.

What if the animated food in your supermarket is looking forward to the Fourth of July as some sort of religious passage, enlightenment at the hands of the gods who shop the aisles? How would they react if they discovered that waiting beyond the checkout registers was not heaven or nirvana but, well, the end -- them being devoured by these rapacious shopper-gods?

That’s the theological reality discovered by a wiener named Frank (Rogen) and his girlfriend, a shapely bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig).

Frank: “Hey, Brenda. You and me.”

Brenda: “I’m so happy, the gods put our packages together … It’s like, we were made for each other.”

Along for the epiphany is Frank’s hot dog pal Barry (Michael Cera), a bottle of tequila (Bill Hader), a wad of chewing gum (Scott Underwood), an effeminate Twinkie (Mr. Underwood again), honey mustard (Danny McBride), a bagel (Edward Norton), not-so-kosher gefilte fish (Alistair Abell), an off-the-boat Italian tomato (Brian Dobson), an Uncle Tom box of grits (Craig Robinson), and a spicy taco (Salma Hayek).

Racially insensitive? Maybe. But it’s more a jab at the blind eye of the advertising industry.

Also along for the shopping-cart ride you’ll hear the voices of James Franco, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Rogen’s wife Lauren Miller. Co-directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon provide the voices for a potato and a beer can, respectively.

“Sausage Party” is living it up at Tropic Cinema.

To offer a serious take on this animated cartoon: Think of Frank as a sausage-sized Prometheus, a snackable Frank-enstein, who dares to challenge the gods. But what happens once the gods are overthrown? That’s the point of this movie from Seth Rogen, the guy who also gave us the apocalyptic comedy “This Is the End.”

Scatological humor, metaphysical questions, orgies in the produce aisle, anthropomorphic groceries -- all in one movie? Yes, Seth Rogen, that loudmouth stoner Canadian comedian has a serious side, but he hides it inside a pack of Ball Park hot dogs.


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