Jun 3, 2014

Movie Review: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2

Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is our returning brilliant scientist-inventor who in the prequel to this movie invented a machine that could turn water into food. Following directly after the end of the first movie which deals with the horrifying consequences of this invention, Flint is invited by his world-renowned idol inventor, Chester V (Will Forte) to join his team of inventors while his company cleans up the island. What Flint comes to learn is that his food-creating invention wasn't destroyed at the end of the first film, and has secretly gone into overdrive turning his home island into a Jurassic Park horror show. In order to contain the epidemic and ensure giant cheese-spider monsters don't learn to swim and attack Lady Liberty, Flint and his friends must return home and destroy his invention.

Visually, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is astounding. The colors, landscapes, and character detail blows my mind. To think that someone had to add every little detail from the Tacodile Supreme to the Celebrationator is hard to imagine. The soundtrack to this film doesn't set the world on fire but as far as kids' movies go, it is easily unoffensive. Songs come in at the right cues and don't try to overshadow the importance of the scene going on.

Most of the characters in this film, save for Chester V and his ape sidekick, Barb (Kristen Schaal) are the same. It is slightly worth mentioning that Terry Crews replaced Mr. T as Officer Earl Devereaux but it's a subtle change. The character is still largely the same. On that note however, many of the characters are the same from the end of last movie to the end of this movie. Cloudy 1 was so praised on this website because all of the main characters, probably 5 or 6, saw great development from start to finish and you watched them slowly grow overtime. This film only saw growth for Flint and Barb, while the others are there to serve their purpose supporting plot and character growth for the others. They do this effectively with everyone seemingly purposeful (save for maybe Brent [Andy Samberg], who seems extra dumbed down) which is still a lot better than most television series or films can manage, but it does leave me longing for the level of growth from the previous film. Love interest, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) I was especially confused by. While serving as a great female role model, and a valuable member of the team, still doesn't pass the Bechdel Test and often seems like her personality has been altered just to support Flint's.

The plot of the film is pretty cut and dry, simple enough for all audiences to understand, and like the previous film makes plenty of allusions to other classics before it's time. What was a slight bother however was the time it took to reveal the twist at the end, which seemed to straddle the line throughout the film of "is this supposed to be obvious? Is anyone not getting this?" When the twist came, it lacked impact for the viewer. That however, is my one complaint of the film.

Most people who saw this trailer felt they got the gist of things. 95 minutes of food puns and retread of the previous story. Wrong! There's a lot of food puns... like maybe 60 minutes of the 95 minutes, but they're not bad. They grow on you. The other 35 minutes is compelling story, hilarious hijinks and emotional rollercoasters. I highly recommend anyone and everyone buy Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 or at least watch it on Netflix Instant Watch.

Overall Rating...

4.25 / 5

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