Having been a fan of nearly everything Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have collaborated on over the past few years, namely This is the End and AMC’s Preacher, I was very excited to see their foray into an animated feature film. When the first trailer popped up for the film, I thought it looked hilarious. It had a great concept and an even better voice cast – Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Craig Robinson, and James Franco. I loved the idea of a hot dog trying to find out where he came from, with Rogen and Goldberg being the perfect guys to bring that to life.
Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly the movie I got. Instead of going the more fun route of a hot dog figuring out that he’s an abomination comprised of different scraps of a pig, we get Rogen and Goldberg’s messed up ideas about the afterlife. The food in the grocery store believe that humans are their “Gods” and are chosen from the shelves to be taken to “The Great Beyond,” which is their version of heaven. What it turns out to be is them being brutally murdered, or eaten, by the humans. They find this out when a jar of honey mustard (played hilariously by Danny McBride) gets returned to the shelves. It’s a funny concept but, like almost everything else in the film, gets taken to another level that nobody wanted it to be taken to. It becomes more of an outlet for Rogen and Goldberg to discuss their thoughts on Heaven, Hell, God, and the afterlife overall. Some of it is humorous, some may find it offensive – I found it more annoying than anything else.
However, there are some very funny things here. While they are more chuckles than belly laughs, they come pretty rapid, but are hit-and-miss. There are legions of sauerkraut out to destroy all the juice, a bagel and a lavash bread being the film’s odd couple, and a homosexual Twinkie. This is what you’re in for. It’s sometimes clever, sometimes very stupid and sophomoric. That being said, I would say apart Sammy Bagel, Jr. (Edward Norton doing a spot-on impression of Woody Allen), Nick Kroll’s villain character, Douche, was my favorite part of the film. His introduction in the film is downright hilarious – every other word out of his mouth being “bro,” – and that’s even before you know exactly what he is. And yes, his name is Douche for a reason, there wasn’t a lot of thought going into it being a clever name. The relationship between Sammy Bagel, Jr. and Lavash (who is a goateed piece of lavash bread) is very funny and they steal a number of scenes, but it once again becomes very sophomoric and disgusting by the end.
This isn’t a great movie. I can understand why this script has been sitting on the shelf since around 2007. It’s a great concept that was either not carried out in the best way, or didn’t follow through on its promise. It’s funny here and there, clever sometimes, unnecessary almost always. If you are a fan of Seth Rogen and the rest of the cast, you may want to check it out. Otherwise if a five-minute montage of a food orgy sounds disgusting to you, you should probably stay away. Like that scene and the film itself, it sounds much funnier than it turns out to be.
Runtime: 89 minutes