Rating: 3.5 / 5
‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’, based on a children’s book by Ron and Judi Barrett, was quite the surprise hit of 2009. Its blend of quirky, random humour and colourful visuals easily made it a hit with children and adults alike.
The movie sequel does not follow the book sequel, ‘Pickles To Pittsburgh’, but bouncing off a script written by original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it is a massively entertaining movie that could be classified as a nonstop amusement ride for easily distracted, hyperactive children.
The story picks up where the first one ended, with Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) having saved Swallow Falls from the food-themed special disasters created by his FLDSMDFR (Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator).
However, Flint and his friends have to evacuate the island so that Flint's idol, mega-inventor Chester V (Will Forte) and his Live Corp Company may clean up the mess.
Flint also accepts a position from Chester V, fulfilling his dream.
Then trouble begins when the clean-up doesn't go as planned and Flint has to return to the island only to discover that the FLDSMDFR is still working and is creating food beasts, or “foodimals”, that are populating the place.
The story, just like the jokes in the movie, goes a little haywire from there on.
It's literally all over the place. There is almost no real consistency as the movie flips around from themes of dreams to friendship with no real structure.
This may be seen as part of the movie's charm, not to mention that its frantic pace makes it easy to insert jokes at any point in the movie.
The movie, clearly targeted at children, has a paper-thin plot but is supported by spectacular visuals, a lively voice cast and some hilarious food-related jokes consisting of puns and visual gags.
It's enough to make any young child jump in absolute glee.
For the adults, you may think that Chester V seems to be a warped caricature of Steve Jobs, a messiah-like figure who leads his ultra-hip company that has a legion of cult-like fans. There are also observations about xenophobia and corporate greed, making the show smarter than it looks.
The real stars of the show are really the “foodimals”. Spot the “Tacodiles”, “shrimpanzees”, “flamangos” and “meatbalruses”, giving the movie a sense of childish wonder that's just not found in other films.