I was pleasantly surprised by Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs when I first saw it, as it managed to walk that fine line of entertaining both children and adults alike. So will its successor manage to do the same, or fail to meet its high expectations?
Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is an inventor, who created a machine which turns water into food. In the first film, this caused havoc on his small island of Swallow Falls. In the sequel, he returns to the island and sees that the food has managed to evolve into living creatures, usually named after puns, such as Fruitcockatiels and tacodiles. He is joined on this adventure by his girlfriend (Anna Faris), father (James Caan), former enemy turned friend (Andy Samberg), a monkey named Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), and some others. The enemy of the film is a Steve Jobs-like tech tycoon voiced by Will Forte, accompanied by an intelligent baboon named Barb (Kristen Schaal).
Visually, this film looks incredible. The creatures they’ve created are usually very cool and they’ve managed to make them look enough like real creatures (although they’re food), that you can’t help but start to feel attached to them. The most likeable creature is a strawberry named Barry. If you don’t know me, let me give you a little personal information. I’ve never had a strawberry before. And this movie has made me even less likely to, because this strawberry is so damn cute.
The voice work is fine, with Will Forte probably having the most fun on the cast. It was kind of nice to have Forte, Hader, and Samberg back together again, now that all three have left Saturday Night Live.
What doesn’t work?
I mentioned in my intro that the original movie had managed to appeal to both audiences (children and adults) but this one failed to. This one is clearly for younger audiences, as a lot of the jokes verge on infantile (such as “Who cut the cheese?” jokes). There were moments I was having fun, but on a whole it lost some of the heart of its predecessor.
This was a brief review because there’s not much I can really say. This is a fun and entertaining movie for kids. Adults won’t likely enjoy too much, aside from a clever pun or two and some interesting visuals. The first film had heart where this one feels much more like an obligatory sequel. You might enjoy it, if you just want escapism, but for most of you, it’ll fall short of the mark.