The animation sparkles and delights in its detail, caricatures and computer-generated colors and craft.
The setting is novel and seriously silly — a supermarket, where the food and household items can only live their lives — out in the open, anyway — after hours.
But then, they open their mouths. The first word is an S-bomb, followed by many others. Then a B-bomb or two, and finally, hilariously, an F-bomb. And who delivers it but that Prince of Profanity, Danny McBride.
Welcome to the “Sausage Party,” the most profane animated film since “Fritz the Cat,” the perverse product of that vanguard of vulgarity, Seth Rogen and his Lewd Crew of (mostly) Jews..
It’s demented, and it’s damned-near brilliant.
It’s about groceries who begin each day with a hymn to “The Great Beyond,” one composed by the Maestro of Animated Music — Alan Menken. They sing of leaving this Earthy coil, named “Shopwell’s”, for “the promised land.” The Gods will buy them and take them home and care for them.
Once in paradise, they can mate and, it goes without saying, “bake,” because this is a Seth Rogen project, after all. It’s all the wieners (Rogen, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill among them) can think and talk about, likewise their sexual opposite numbers, the nubile and ever-inviting buns, who include the shapely and chaste Brenda (Kristen Wiig), girlfriend and perfect mate for Frank (Rogen).
They don’t question the order of things, the way their world is. Because they don’t know and they don’t really want to know.
“We’re not SUPPOSED to understand the Will of the Gods!”
Then an item, a simple jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride), is purchased and then returned. And he’s just the profane prophet to set them straight.
“You’re celebrating your DOOM!”
Only he can’t. There are powers that keep the Big Lie safe. We call them the Non Perishables. Frank and Brenda, and Frank’s pal Barry (Michael Cera) must undertakle a quest to find the truth, find true love (or lust) and warn their world about the Gastronomic Apocalypse they face.
Rogen and his co-creating team conjure up a universe of Nazi sauerkraut (“Ve vill KILL all de JUICE!”) and feuding Middle Eastern breads — a Woody Allen-impersonating bagel debating a “77 extra virgin olive oils” believing lavash (Muslim bread).
The horrors of a “cleanup on aisle three” become a scene out of “Saving Private Ryan,” the sage stoners among the Non Perishables include Fire Water (Bill Hader), “They call me MR. GRITS!” (Craig Robinson) and Twinky.
Yeah, the snack with an infinite shelf life gets a nod. And these guys pass the pipe, a kazoo filled with you-know-what.
The gags range from gleefully gross — defecation and feces sight gags, a vengeful douche (Nick Kroll) is the Master Villain — to light and goofy puns.
“How ya like THEM apples?”
“Who, US?” a chorus of Granny Smith’s chirp.
There’s a lesbian taco (Zing!) voiced by Salma Hayek and a brilliant, wheel-chair bound Great Thinker (a gummy Stephen Hawking impersonator).
And if you listen carefully, you can catch the voices of James Franco, Edward Norton and Paul Rudd amidst this sophomoric boys’ club of crude.
But get past the drug jokes (intravenous drug use — “Bath Salts!”) –and grocery store marijuana. Tune out the river of raunch — there’s an orgy here that could warp the easily warped — and you’re left with “Sausage Party’s” not-so-subtle subtext.
Religion lies to us, cons us and separates us. It twists and torments our sexuality and turns bread against bread and lets us lead lives of delusion.
And you’re never going to persuade anyone to take a cold, hard look at it by “attacking their beliefs.” You want to change minds about sacred cows (and other edibles), maybe you do it with a cartoon.
That makes “Sausage Party” the gutsiest comedy since, well, “The Interview.” And whatever else this half-baked band of merry band of bakers cook up, you have to give them that.
MPAA Rating:R for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug useCast: The voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, James Franco
Running time: 1:29