September 29, 2016
With a poster proudly announcing that this animated film is by the guys who brought us "This is the End" (specifically Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg), we automatically know it won't be for kids. We immediately expect what kind of comedy this film will be pushing -- crass, rude, profane, off-color, gross. We know this movie will definitely NOT be for kids. It is not the first CGI-animated film rated R in the US for nothing. You know if you are its target audience or not, so watch this at your own risk.
Once upon a time, the groceries in Shopwell believed that once they get picked up by one of the human customers, they would live happily ever after. Frank the sausage and Brenda the bun looked forward to getting put into that shopping cart and spend eternity together doing more than just touching fingertips. However, they would soon discover the harsh and horrible truth about what really happens to food items after they leave the store.
The story of the central characters Frank and Brenda (Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig) were on a predictable romance track. More interesting side stories were provided by supporting characters, like insecure dwarf sausage Barry (Michael Cera), Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz) representing the Jew and Arab rivalry, a lesbian taco Teresa del Taco (Selma Hayek), Native American Firewater liquor (Bill Hader), a suicidal bottle of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) and a Stephen Hawking-like chewed-up Gum (Scott Underwood). Someone's imagination really went wild here. He was most probably high when he came up with these ideas.
In a clear parody of Disney and Pixar films, the rather sacrilegious opening song "The Great Beyond" was by no less than composer of "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin" -- Alan Menken himself! In that song, the various foodstuff were blissfully living their lives in the supermarket shelves waiting earnestly to be bought and brought home by humans, whom they consider their gods.
This innocent idealism would later be shattered when they reach the kitchen. The film takes a dark and disturbing turn when we get a view of what food items feel when they are being peeled, chopped, cooked and chewed. Those scenes were not easy to watch, especially that one with those cute little baby carrots (Sugar Lyn Beard). You will never look at a cookbook the same way again after you see that major horrific revelation scene here.
Even if it was expected, I did not like the profanity which was so rampant in this film. There was a dirty word present in almost all the lines, it was already so numbing in its frequency. Every scene with that hateful main villain Douche (Nick Kroll) and store manager Darren (Paul Rudd) was vile and repulsive, especially when Douche was in the open fly of Darren's pants. Like the other Rogen films, there were drug references and scenes aplenty here as well. Of course, James Franco would again voice a drug addict here. And then there was the very violent free-for-all in the supermarket aisles as the food items attacked the humans.
The posters and trailer were selling this as an all-out animated sex comedy. However, those people who only came expecting to see raunchy scenes alone may be disappointed. This animated feature actually tackles a variety of heavy topics like race and religion throughout its 89 minute running time. The outright sex part came only at the last ten minutes, an extended, comically graphic sexual orgy of food items that push the limits of the R rating, certainly not for the prudish nor the squeamish.
Overall, this was not my cup of tea. Some interesting, innovative and inspired moments of out-of-the-box daring comedy all over, but the general flow and spirit of the movie did not really sit well with me. Must be my age. 4/10.