Sunday 26 February 2017

Sausage Party

Sausage Party's dialogue feels like a desperate attempt to warrant its age rating. To my knowledge it's the only adult animated film to reach this level of mainstream success, and as a result, it feels as though there is a conceded effort to make its adult nature feel warranted. As such, there is not one sentence that goes by without some swearing.

Not that I have an issue with swearing, mind, and I certainly don't want to suggest that swearing somehow diminishes a film's' content. Rather, it's the way in which it's implemented. Swearing is used so casually here that, whilst giving the dialogue something of a naturalistic quality, it ultimately diminishes the humour therein.

"Hey, dude, I don't know how to say this to you gently, but your girlfriend, um... she's a f***ing c**t." This particular line is played off as a joke, ending with a long pause, as though “f***ing c**t” is somehow a punch line. This could have had an impact, eliciting an uneasy guffaw due to its unexpectedness. However, the swearing is so frequent that it simply falls flat, and the resulting punch line seems to suggest that it's somehow inherently funny because an animated sausage said it.

This, in summary, is the biggest problem with Sausage Party. There is some genuinely good humour in here; the scenes of the food being slaughtered in the style of a torturous horror film being the highlights. Additionally, there are the racial and cultural stereotypes which initially appear borderline offensive, but eventually become a conduit for a message of acceptance of others.

It's these reasons why I recommend Sausage Party as a curiosity, if anything. I wouldn't call the surface-level humour a facade, but it's certainly a wall you have to break through. I'd never go so far as to call Sausage Party intelligent based on its themes; it's definitely bold if nothing else. It's a hard sell because, as far as I'm concerned, it's not particularly funny. It's interesting. But 'interesting' isn't always enough of an incentive to warrant sitting through a film where "f***ing c**t" is somehow intended as a punchline.


Lewis Hill

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