Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 Still Shines
Never have vegetables been so darn cute. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picks up where the original left off, and manages to not fall into the redundant plot that so many sequels do.
At the end of the first movie, Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) had just shut down his food creating machine and destroyed it. Unfortunately for the residents of Swallows Falls, the Diatomic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator left quite a mess behind and they’ve all had to relocate to the cold, impersonal city of San Franjose. The city is under the control of Chester V (Will Forte), a corporation owner whose company focuses on ‘the betterment of mankind’.
Cue ominous music.
Flint takes a job with Chester’s company, Live Corp., and returns to Swallows Falls with a goal of scouting the area for a cleanup. Once he gets there, he realizes that his nefarious invention didn’t just survive being destroyed. It has transformed the landscape and turned Swallows Falls into a kind of Jurassic Park for mutant vegetable-animal hybrids. Even as Flint is fighting mosquitoasts, watermelophants, and bananostriches, Chester V is hatching a world domination plan.
Visually, the film is just as stunning and just as clever as its predecessor. Someone clearly had fun dreaming up some seriously bizarre vegetable/animal characters (aka ‘foodimals’) and giving them names. In addition, the actors (which includes an all-star cast of Anna Farris, Neal Patrick Harris, Andy Samberg and Benjamin Bratt) had a lot of fun with the characters and really made the movie come to life. [more…]
Also, as a side note, in a country plagued with childhood obesity, the focus on fruits and vegetables was a responsible idea. The predecessor was a bit ‘carb heavy’ but on this second take, the focus is more on fresh rather than processed. As far as subliminal advertising goes, this is the kind I could actually respect.
As with the first, the dialog and jokes were cute enough for children, but clever enough for adults. One standout, laugh out loud moment occurs when the characters are about to get into a boat. One of the characters shouts “there’s a leek in the boat!” Then the camera pans to a harmless looking mutant vegetable, watching them in confusion.
While the movie is pun heavy, it has to be considering the subject matter and the jokes never feel forced. Instead, the film manages to be silly without being stupid, which can be a rarity when it comes to kid focused movies.
Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, both first-time major feature directors, absolutely did this film justice. While they did a great job making sure that the scenes in the film were beautiful, they didn’t make the mistake of letting the visuals take over the plot and the dialog. Instead, they made sure that the writing worked with the animation, rather than take a back seat.
All in all, this second helping of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is deliciously delightful fun for the whole family.
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