Much like the Despicable Me films, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and recently The Lego Movie, the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs series celebrates the cartoony nature of animated movies. With silly slapstick, crazy stories and pun-tastic humor these films are all about an unbridled sense of fun and the beauty of images that can only be dreamed up by a creator’s vivid imagination and realized by the modern art of computer animation. Where Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 can’t keep up with the competition is in the emotional plot department: it’s a movie devoid of surprises, lacking a strong character arc.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 picks up right where the first movie ended: inventor Flint Lockwood and friends have managed to save their home town from his latest invention and are now whisked away from there by Lockwood’s idol Chester V, a Steve Jobs-like inventor responsible for the cleanup of Flint’s home island. While their town’s been taken care of Flint gets the opportunity to work with his hero, but when they learn of an unexpected side effect that creates animals out of food, foodimals, he’s sent back to end this once and for all. What follows is a fun adventure for the entire family, with beautifully invented creatures and scenery. It’s obvious the creators had a ball creating this movie, from the many foodimal names (hippotatomus, mosquitoast, shrimpanzee) and the avalanche of other puns to the many running gags and the fact there’s always something funny happening in the meticulously created backgrounds.
The story itself is serviceable, contains some funny Jurassic Park references, and keeps moving at a fine pace, but there’s not really someone your rooting for. Flint is likeable enough but the obstacles he’s presented with are never all that hard to overcome, the stakes never all that high. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2‘s message is fine, about the value of friendship and thinking for yourself, but the way it’s illustrated just isn’t interesting. The lesson’s aren’t shown, they’re said out loud, which is taking the easy way out. Kids will have a nice time, but for adults the entire story will be predictable from the first frame on. This makes the film enjoyable, but just that and nothing more.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a good time, but nothing beyond that. It lacks heart and surprises. 6/10