The war analogy persists throughout the movie, which also leans heavily on a hodgepodge of broad ethnic stereotypes. Firewater, a wise bottle of liquor voiced with a Native American accent by Bill Hader, tells Frank that he and Grits (Craig Robinson) were kicked out of their original aisle to make room for crackers.
David Krumholtz voices a Middle Eastern flatbread named Vash (as in lavash) who dreams of the 77 bottles of extra-virgin olive oil that will surely greet him in the afterlife; he spends the movie feuding with the Woody Allen-esque Sammy Bagel Jr. (Ed Norton). They don’t appreciate having to share an aisle, although they discover they have a mutual friend in hummus. Eventually, Frank convinces the foodstuffs to band together to fight their common enemy — humans, who just keep getting fatter and more powerful with every item they consume, according to Firewater: “Every kill makes them stronger and it’s never enough!”
Some of these cultural riffs are iffy at best: A bottle of tequila speaks with a hyperbolic Spanish accent, and has a vaguely rape-y vibe when he approaches Brenda during a party in the liquor aisle. And Vash goes on a little too frequently about “loose morals.” These characters may earn some outrage in the days to come, although it’s hard to imagine anyone who paid to see a Seth Rogen film called Sausage Party being seriously affronted.
Besides, the movie has so much fun with its concept, and is so gloriously silly in its execution, it’s hard to muster up any real indignation. American grocery stores — like the country itself — are very much divided by ethnicity, so the persistent tribal categorizing makes sense in context, and becomes integral to the movie’s “make love, not war” ethos. The movie is a clarion call for sexual liberation, imploring us to tear off the confines of our packaging and be whoever we want to be. By the time Sausage Party reaches its, heh, climax with a storewide food fuck fest, any attempt at a serious critique of its interpretation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict feels a little ridiculous.
Cleanup on Aisle Four, indeed.