Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

***

Reviewed by: Martin Gray

Barely a week goes by without a new kids film in 3D and barely a week will go by before you forget this one. It tells the tale of a young inventor, the annoyingly named Flint Lockwood, who brings new life to his faded village when he invents a machine which can produce food from the air. The catch is that the food starts getting bigger and threatening the survival of the planet. Can Flint, aided by weathergirl Sam and 'Baby' Brent, get to the new planet hiding the machine and switch it off before pizza and steak destroy us all?

And could I stay awake to report on it? Nope, sorry, I dropped off for several minutes, despite this film having a few good ideas - former sardine can mascot Baby Brent is a hilarious buffoon, who only gets funnier in his final transformation, and the relationship between Flint and dad Tim is touchingly drawn. But once the food starts falling from the sky a saminess descends and when the story finally moves on, as Flint and co undertake their quest to end the machine's threat, the movie just rambles, with one fat-filled set piece after another.

Copy picture

The actors hit their character marks well, whether it be perky, enthusiastic, dumb or monosyllabic; no one if challenged, but it's a paycheck.

Mustn't forget, though, that this is a kids' picture, and the young 'uns filling the cinema seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Me, I'd have enjoyed a bit more in the way of 3D - if you're going to make me wear headache-inducing specs, by cracky, I want to be made to duck. Meatballs, though, doesn't bother throwing much at the audience, it uses the technology mainly to add depth rather than extend the action outwards.

As a family film, it pretty much succeeds, but as cinematic feasts go, it's thin fare.

Reviewed on: 29 Sep 2009
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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs packshot
Will a weather wonder spell the end of the world?
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Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller

Writer: Phil Lord, Chris Miller based on the book by Judi and Ron Barrett

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg

Year: 2009

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

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