The king of surreal stoner comedies has claimed its crown.
Frank (Seth Rogen) is literally a sausage; Brenda (Kristen Wiig) is the bun he wants to snuggle into. Along with his sausage buddies Carl (Jonah Hill) and little Barry (Michael Cera), they wait to be purchased from a supermarket to spend their lives together forever — blissfully unaware of the horror that awaits them in “The Great Beyond” with the gods who’ve chosen them. They even sing a song about it every morning! When Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned unopened, he’s strangely silent about everyone’s continued excitement until he tries to escape, screaming about what really happens to purchased food just as two shopping carts run into one another. Separated from their packages, Frank and Brenda must undertake a journey of discovery before they can return to their shelves… but can anything be the same after learning the truth?
From the first surprise trailer, there was little doubt that this wasn’t a feature cartoon for kids — possibly not for so-called adults, either. One has to wonder how much actual substance abuse might have been involved in the writing, but the stream of consciousness of this Seth Rogan and company production walks the line between surreal hilarity and nightmarish insanity… and that’s just what they could show on the green-band trailers. Surely, no parent would mistake this for something to take their under-aged children to… right? Let’s examine the evidence…
We have a character named Douche (Nick Kroll) who is actually a literal and metaphorical douche, bisexual Teresa Del Taco (Salma Hayek), sworn enemies of an Armenian flatbread named Lavash (David Krumholtz) and a Jewish bagel named Sammy Bagel, Jr (Edward Norton), and supermarket wisdom for the ages bestowed by the Non-Perishables: Firewater (Bill Hader), Mr. Grits (Craig Robinson), and Twink (Scott Underwood). While the characters are semi-stereotypes, they break those molds by design. On one level, the entire story is about exceeding expectations, but at the same time, it crosses over into religious allegory: is it better to live a happy life in ignorant bliss… or worry constantly about the truth you can do nothing about?
If you can’t see why this is funny, there’s a fair chance you take life way too seriously. If you don’t find stoner comedies amusing, have nightmares about anthropomorphic food screaming as they’re being consumed, are repulsed your groceries might be humping in the cupboard when you’re not looking, or never cuss because bad words are bad… this movie is not for you. If you think you’re good with that, imagine biohazardous street waste with the same characteristics — still here? This movie is definitely your kind of escapism!
It isn’t possible to get away with this twice, is it?
4 Skull Recommendation Out of Four