Sausage Party Voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera. Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. Rated R. Opens Friday citywide.
With its rudimentary computer animation, talking foodstuffs and relentless, heavy-handed messages about religion, Sausage Party is the atheist equivalent of a VeggieTales movie. Conceived by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and directed by animation veterans Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, Sausage Party is every bit as raunchy and inappropriate as any of Rogen and Goldberg’s live-action movies, but the filmmakers have taken their theological viewpoint to a new level. While This Is the End kept its thoughts on the afterlife confined mostly to its finale, Sausage Party is pretty much a nonstop argument against the existence of God.
Rogen voices Frank, a hot dog who lives with all the other food products in a suburban supermarket, where they’ve developed an elaborate belief system around the humans who purchase them. Frank discovers the truth about what humans do with the food they buy, and he tries to enlighten his fellow groceries, while romancing a bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig). The theme of religious division gives the filmmakers license for lots of lazy stereotypes, and while there are occasional amusing puns, the nonstop gross-out humor gets tiresome quickly. The movie ends with both a lecture on religious tolerance and a literal orgy, and it’s hard to say which one is more excessive.