Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

cloudy_with_a_chance_of_meatballs_two

A sequel that serves just as much snappy fun as the first installment, the story may be lacking the better warmth and originality of the 2009 movie but there’s plenty of colorful visuals, puns and foodie feasts to keep most parties entertained.

This follow up sees Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) discussing plans to work together literally a few seconds after the ending of the first film. Their ideas are soon halted by the arrival of a childhood hero of Lockwood’s, this science guy called Chester V (Will Forte) is there to clean up the island in the wake of Flint’s invention gone awry. After getting to work amongst Chester V’s Corporation Flint and his friends head back to Swallow Falls to try and find his food making creation and stop the rapid rise of mutated foodimals.

It is clear that the talents of writing/directing team aren’t together for this film. The lack of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller is felt, they may have done the story but the eventual screenplay and feel of the finished product lacks some punch and wit that the first film had in bucket loads. This isn’t to say that new director team Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn don’t retain the fast paced magic, they just don’t tell as good a story in as good a way as the first feature managed to do.

I think it lies in the fact the story doesn’t come across as smart or as creative as the first one did. This one just takes an idea and mutates it like the foodimals of the film. There’s no grand design apart from chucking in food puns for the new creatures and bombarding the screen with loud colours to dazzle children. The script progression never feels at full engagement, perhaps because it’s predictable, at least I thought so, seeing the villain and corp twist from the beginning, literally as soon as it appears in the plot.

The running gags are still fun though, like his stick on shoes, the sprinting TV popping up from time to time and of course this film revels in the madness of food based punnery. It somehow never gets annoying and that’s props to whoever sat thinking of all these jokes, as they do raise a smile or a chuckle for everyone that flies into the dialogue. The gloopy syrup scene as Flint manically calls for Sam is damn funny to be fair, with a greatly timed cut to a wider shot providing the funny. The jokes or witty visuals may not be as clever or mature as last time round but at least they still try to keep in that vein of comedy style.

The voice cast are just as good this time out as before. Bill Hader is naive, charming and fun as the leading buffoon with a heart of gold. Anna Faris is the squeaky and lovable meteorologist and plays the romantic sidekick with enough spunk to not get irritating. James Caan has a little more to do in a B story line involving pickles, yes really. Terry Crews replaces Mr T as Officer Earl Devereaux and convinces that it’s still the same voice behind the mic, so he cannot be faulted. Will Forte is back but in another guise, this time he is Chester V and his slimy yet over excited mannerisms can be felt in the vocal performance really making the head of Live Corp come to life.

A silly yet grandly fun outing defintley for kids but I’m more than sure that the quick paced style it has will be loved by some older kids too. Sadly lacks the same whizz and wise power of the first but if puns and psychedelic animations are your bag then jump right into this Jurassic Park world of food mutation.

6/10

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