Breaking away from the books that inspired the original, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 finds aspiring inventor Flint Lockwood working for his hero, Chester V – inventor and owner of Live Corp – when it appears that his biggest invention is still working but now creating dangerous food-animal hybrids. Naturally, he has to head back to the island to stop them and turn off the machine once and for all.
Cloudy 2 features a host of new creations, Foodimals, that are kinda sweet – even when they appear dangerous, like the Tacodiles, Cheespiders and Watermelophants. Chester (voiced by Will Forte) persuades Flint (Bill Hader) that they’re a danger and that they need to find and turn off his machine.
The whole gang from the first film is back – Flint’s dad, Tim (James Caan), Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), former bully Brent (Andy Samberg), Earl (now voiced by Terry Crews), Steve the monkey (Neil Patrick Harris) and Manny the cameraman – but Chester is doing his best to undermine his confidence in them. He definitely has a different agenda and it soon becomes clear that things are not quite as they seem. (We should have suspected that – he treats his aide, an orangutan named Barb (Kristen Schaal), very poorly.)
Like the first movie, Cloudy 2 is gorgeously designed. Whether it’s the foodimals or the strange jungle in which they live, the design is pretty darned cool. The film’s design and a host of puns are the best things about Cloudy 2. Otherwise, it is not as grownup friendly as the first film – it seems geared to an audience of between six and twelve. Fortunately, it zips by in a very quick ninety-five minutes. The animation is excellent and while the 3D is right up there, it is surprisingly underutilized.
In a year that has seen a lot of big animated movies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is basically a mostly harmless, uninspired but competent effort that will likely charm kids even if it doesn’t have them rolling in the aisles – and won’t be completely boring to an older audience (depending on your patience and tolerance of puns).
On the Big Drink Scale, I finished my drink just before the (very colorful) credits began to roll. You might find the first part of the closing credits worth sitting through – there’s a few good chuckles there.
Final Grade: B-
Art courtesy of Sony Animation