Reviewed by Ian Forbes
The first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs took me by surprise. Its trailer looked rather generic and I went into it with very little expectations only to find that it’s actually one of my favorite animated movies in the last five years. Now the sequel has been unleashed, appropriately titled Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and sans subtitle so just saying it doesn’t require a second breath.
Picking up right where the first film ended, our intrepid inventor, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) has been given the opportunity to work for the Live Corporation. Think Apple and Google all rolled into one. He’s eventually tasked with helping to stop the device that created the food storms from the previous tale, only now that device is cranking out sentient food that may threaten to overrun the world’s historical landmarks if not kept in check (if you’ve seen the first movie, you get that joke).
In any case, Flint doesn’t go off on his own. His friends and father tag along, with most of the cast of characters returning for more crazy food antics (it’s sad Mr. T didn’t reprise his role but Terry Crews did a good job of filling in). As expected, there’s much quirkiness and randomness that goes on, all leading to the inevitable happy ending one can expect with any kids film. P.S. If you consider that a spoiler, stick to Nick at Nite re-runs (do they still do that? I am not young anymore).
While there was a change in directors for the franchise, they managed to make it all feel like an extension of the original and this is a worthy sequel that is probably my second favorite animated movie of the year (The Croods still holds top honors to this point). If you’ve got kids, this will keep them entertained with its bright colors and wacky food animals. It will also keep you entertained with plenty of humor aimed above the heads of the wee ones you brought in tow.
When it comes to the obligatory 3D, you can take it or leave it. None of it was obtrusive and I was pleased that the vibrant colors on display still came through, even when wearing tinted (and presumably sanitized) lenses. However, there aren’t enough moments that take advantage of the technology so you really won’t be missing anything should you decide to use that extra money you saved on tickets for gummy bears.
Bottom line is that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will likely join its predecessor on my Blu-ray shelf and hopefully this release will put an end to whatever money is still flowing towards Monsters University. Of all the bad movies this year (and there are many), the sheer gigantitude of the box office for that truly terrible misstep by the good folks at Pixar still has me fuming. Movies cost too much these days to just throw money away. Don’t forget people, you can get air conditioning in malls too … and admission to those is free.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is rated PG for mild rude humor.
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