Sausage Party: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Sausage Party feels like the kind of movie only a bunch of seasoned actors with no real concern for money or critical acclaim would make. It’s the kind of movie that’s easy to dismiss as being “full of shit.” Computer-animated food items in a supermarket talk, and want nothing more than to be bought (by humans they call ‘the gods’) so they can leave for The Great Beyond.
At the beginning, a jar of honey-mustard is returned to the store. He is shell-shocked, and snaps at everyone who touches him. No one believes him when he rants that The Great Beyond is not what they think it is.
But he’s right, and everyone else soon finds out. They watch as a cabbage gets ripped apart and a bowl of Doritos is thrown into a microwave while hot cheese melts all over it. Of course, it’s not enough that one of the sausages, Carl, simply dies. Instead, he has to be speared with a knife and then split in half, Kill Bill style.
Eventually though, the film takes on a more political tone and even feels like it could be the movie of our times. All the food items are straight-forward racial stereotypes, from English-accented tea bags to a Mexican taco named Teresa. Even the bickering between a piece of lavash and a bagel turns into a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When they accidentally discover that they are both friends with hummus, they refuse to let this fact turn them into friends.
this doesn’t stop them from spiralling into a mass orgy
Despite all this, the movie’s political commentary pretty much falls flat. When the main sausage, Frank, eventually attempts to convince the entire supermarket of the lie of The Great Beyond, even presenting pages torn from a cook book as evidence, no one believes him. Predictably, their delusions are preferable to facing reality.
There is constant reference to “the gods,” and excuses the food items pile on themselves such as “this isn’t what the gods intended,” echoes our own slavery to modern aspirations and ways of thinking.
The problem is, all this humour turns tired and tasteless once the usual repertoire of cliches have been exhausted. Perhaps, the worse thing that can be said about Sausage Party is that despite how inspired it appears at times, what it truly suffers from is a lack of imagination.
Everyone celebrates when they eventually exterminate all the human beings in the supermarket. They forget that these victims are but a small sample of the human race. In the world outside the supermarket, there are countless more supermarkets where food on shelves have not been liberated from the cruelty of the human diet. Their victory, in truth, is far from real.
But this doesn’t stop them from spiralling into a mass orgy where religion, gender, and sexual deviance all melt into a singular need to satisfy and be satisfied. There are no longer any boundaries, and it’s a truly incredible sight, watching fruits, vegetables, and condiments sliding up against and into each other. If you never intend to ever take a hallucinogenic drug in your life, this comes close to what you might otherwise expect to experience. There are even some literal fireworks.
One can’t help but ask at this point, “So is sex the goal of everything?” Or maybe the film is trying to say something more controversial, that perhaps if we would all just take our clothes off and fornicate, the world would be a better place.
If anything, all Sausage Party really does is hold a mirror up to our faces
The movie doesn’t really give you much time to contemplate this because soon after the orgy concludes, there’s another plot twist. The protagonists are told by some other characters that they are something called a ‘cartoon.’
Now where exactly did this all of this information suddenly come from? At this point in the movie, all I’m saying to myself is, “You have GOT to be shitting me.” How ridiculously convenient!
At the same time, this also feels like a subtle jibe at the fact that everything is an illusion, and the circle of life is really just a circular stairway to nowhere. One can’t help but wonder, what happens when they step through the portal (this too, simply appears) to confront their human makers? What happens, assuming they’re successful, when they kill off the people who play them like puppets?
The more you think about Sausage Party, the more you realise how loosely all of it is tied together. But I do also get the sense that this isn’t really the point. Those successful actors I mentioned at the beginning? They aren’t interested in illuminating any truths.
If anything, all Sausage Party really does is hold a mirror up to our faces. All it asks for is a moment of introspection—one in which we can see ourselves in these cartoons and ask, “Why the hell do we even care about some of these things that drive us all crazy? Why are we not just having a good time?”