Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"Rich and strange, although its trippy, LSD vibe becomes almost overwhelming in places."

Despite the lack of invention in the title, the content of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 is rich and strange, although its trippy, LSD vibe becomes almost overwhelming in places.

It jumps into the the world of mutant food where the previous instalment left off. Flint Lockwood thinks he's going to set up his own little lab with best pal Sam, monkey Steve and assorted other chums, but he soon has his head turned by the arrival of uber-tech-guy Chester V, who looks like Steve Jobs, talks in mantras and has an orangutan-with-a-human-brain sidekick, Barb. Chester is the director of Live Corp, a super-company that views the imaginations of its Thinkonaut employees in the same way that vampires look at humans.

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Chester massages Flint's ego and asserts that he needs him to go on a special mission to retrieve his food-making gizmo the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator - or the FLDSMDFR for short, which is the most fun any cast (including Bill Hader, Anna Farris and James Caan) have had with an unpronounceable word since Dr Hfuhruhurr and Miss Uumellmahaye in The Man With Two Brains.

The machine is back on the island of Swallow Falls where, it turns out, it has been busy, not just producing outsized meals, but creating 'foodimals'. This means that when Flint arrives, with pals (and his long-suffering and fabulous dad Tim), they are greeted by a Jurassic Park style environment, filled with delightfully named hybrids, such as butterflies and watermelephants and a squeaky strawberry named Barry... just watch out for the fast-food nasties, the hamburger-and-fries hybrid cheespider and the tacodile. The animation is vivid and colourful and there's so much going on that it should keep the kids happy for multiple viewings, although the 3D feels somewhat superfluous.

There's a sideswipe at the conformity of Silicon Valley here and a laugh at the expense of consumerism there but Cloudy 2 shows no real interest in the politics of the thing. Parents may also reflect that the filmmakers' decision to cop-out on their initial idea that healthy foodimals are friendly, while junk foodimals are nasty is a shame. But this is a fun ride and if you want your children to learn something about genetic modification or overconsumption, you've come to the wrong theme park, pal.

Still, Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, working from a script by John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein and Erica Rivinoja - which may go some way to explaining the surfeit of ideas - has sweetness and friendship at its heart. This is about Flint learning who his real pals are, realising that parents are sometimes worth having around - the scenes between him and his father fishing with a gaggle of animated gherkins are some of the best - and understanding that not all of his ideas are worldbeating. More goofy than groundbreaking, this film is best when its delivering a quick one-liner or fun food pun, even if the memory of it is likely to leave your brain in a (sugar) rush.

Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2013
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Flint heads back to Swallow Falls to retrieve his mutant-creating food machine.
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Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal, Cody Cameron, Melissa Sturm, Kris Pearn, Craig Kellman, Khamani Griffin, Bridget Hoffman

Year: 2013

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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