About two minutes into the R-rated animated food movie Sausage Party I had a realization—the film that the trailers were advertising was not the movie I was watching. That movie, about food that realizes what happens when they get bought, looked like it has a lot of R-rated jokes, and not much else. But the real movie is so much more.
To say what Sausage Party is actually about isn’t a spoiler. But, if at this point you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a chance to leave. Just know this: Sausage Party is absolutely filthy and completely funny, but not without its flaws.
Sausage Party is about science versus religion. It’s about blind faith versus undebatable truth—about people who choose to believe something they’re told all their lives and how that could, potentially, be a problem. That’s not to say Sausage Party bashes religion, faith, or your beliefs (it jabs them for sure), but it fully embraces the happiness those things can bring people.
In the case of a supermarket full of foul-mouthed food, these debates are brought about by a talking hot dog (Seth Rogen) that’s desperate to enter his bun girlfriend (Kristen Wiig). All the food in the supermarket believes when you’re chosen by the Gods, a.k.a. humans shopping in the store, you are brought to the Great Beyond, a place where everything is going to be wonderful. They think its heaven, basically. But when one bottle of honey mustard is returned to the store, he starts planting the seeds of truth that lead Rogen’s character on a quest through the supermarket to discover that humans kill food when they leave the supermarket.
As this is happening, the film is as R-rated as they come. C-bombs, F-bombs, dirty sex jokes, non-stop innuendo, and some sure-to-be-too-offensive-for-some-people racial stuff. It’s a way to try and mask that the filmmakers are, hopefully, getting you to question some serious shit.
One problem with that, however, is Sausage Party is not subtle in any way. The film wears its message right on its sleeve and, at times, that becomes an issue. It beats you over the head with its themes to the point of redundancy. The film also feels a bit long even at just under 90 minutes due to a dragged-out second act.
And yet, by the time the film reaches its third act, none of that matters. Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Verson, working from a screenplay by Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ari Shaffir, push things so, so, SO far over the edge at the end you almost won’t believe what you’re watching. It’s completely horrific and yet, you can’t stop watching, laughing, and shaking your head. Then, it keeps going. And just when you think it couldn’t get crazier, dirtier, or more stupid, it does. And then it does it again. I can safely say you have never, ever seen anything like the final act and climax of Sausage Party.
That pretty much goes for the whole movie, too. If you watched the trailers to Sausage Party and didn’t care that much, that’s fair. But if you like the talent involved, trust them, and check it out. They made a funny, well-meaning, and smart movie. One that has some problems, but is also filled with exemplary, iconic, disturbing moments that are worth the price of admission.
Sausage Party, which screened at Comic-Con 2016, opens August 12.
Note: This article originally ran on July 22. We updated it for the film’s release.