Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

The sequel to 2010s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs hits in a explosion of colour, fun and food based puns but does the charm of the first remain…

Cloudy 2 resumes directly after the first film, which saw our hero, inventor Flint Lockwood, save his home, Swallow Falls, and the world from his invention that turned water into giant food. The genius Chester V, Flint’s childhood hero, and CEO of Live Corp is tasked with cleaning the island, whilst the inhabitants are moved to the mainland. Flint is given a job at Live Corp, while his dad returns to fishing, and Sam gets her old weather job back. It doesn’t take long before Flint and the gang to return and find the island full of living, sentient foodimals, like Shrimpanzees and watermelephants, on a mission to stop the food leaving the island and destroying the world…

The story is fairly standard fare, the protagonist who puts his faith in his hero instead of his friends, who, of course, turns out to have a hidden agenda, and it’s up to our hero to stop the villain, save the day, and regain his friends. As a children film, it works perfectly. For adults, the vibrant colours, the humour and the voice acting allow you to switch your brain off, and enjoy mindless entertainment.

Chester V makes a good villain and counter for Flint, as he is what Flint could have been without his friends. He was bullied, and this drove him to trust no one but himself – and his numerous holograms. Chester V is a mix of several geek personalities, with a pinch of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Bill Nigh the Science Guy all thrown in. For anyone over the age of ten his true intentions should be pretty obvious, but Will Forte plays him with such aplomb that you put this to the back of your mind.

The humour comes fast and thick in Cloudy 2, but enjoyment of the jokes will depend on how much you love food puns. I lost count of the numerous puns around twenty, and luckily the charming character, slapstick humour, and the unpronounceable acronyms from the first film remain, easing the reliance on bad puns.

The voice talent is good, with most of the cast retuning from the first film, with Will Forte and Kristen Schaal making welcome additions to the already talented cast. Bill Hader and Anna Faris are again good in the main roles, but it is Neil Patrick Harris who steals the show as Steve, his one word outbursts hilarious.

I had some minor quibbles with Cloudy 2, notably in the lack of development in the relationship between Flint and Sam, to which I attribute a lot of the charm and heart in the original. Additionally the pickles which Flint’s dad adopts are clearly influenced by the minions of Despicable Me, but come off as weaker imitations.

So Cloudy 2 is a fun, family film, with some good comedy moments, and more food puns than you can count. While the story is nothing revolutionary, the charming characters, the bright and vivid visuals, and the fast paced jokes make for a entertaining 90 minutes. 6/10

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