Synopsis: In the events following the foodpocalypse of its predecessor, Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) works for The Live Corp Company – an elitist group of scientists led by Flint’s shadowy childhood hero, Chester V (Will Forte). Striving to become a world-reknowned inventor, he is sent back to Swallow Falls and must reassemble ‘the gang’ to reclaim their home and save the world from unbelievable food mutations – ‘the foodimals’.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 features the reassembling of underdog quirky inventor Flint Lockwood, meteorologist ‘girlfriend’ Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews), Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), Brent (Andy Samberg), Manny (Benjamin Bratt) and Flint’s father, Tim Lockwood (James Caan). We also welcome antagonist Chester V, who is perhaps too easy to hate (even if he is spookily reminiscent of the late Steve Jobs both visually and conceptually) and his somewhat unnecessary assistant, Barb (Kristen Schaal).
Cameron and Pearn’s feature is littered with allusions and easter eggs. Plentiful JURASSIC PARK references make it all the more enjoyable, perhaps in an effort to please adult audiences as well as younger audiences, which it does oh-so wonderfully. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments for the older individual, and a huge array to be shared with children, but one way ofpudding it is that the most alluring aspect of the film is how fantastically adorable it is. Wait until you meet Barry.
Admittedly, the plot is perhaps the best out of few avenues the sequel could have taken and is particularly imaginative when it comes to the creation of the foodimals, immaculately conceived by Flint’s genius, no less. With appearances from foodimals such as the Flamango, the Cheespider, Hippotatomus and the Bananostrich – which may at times lack ap-peal – the world of the foodimals entrances and hungers infinitely. Be sure to look out for the legendary Sasquash, as he only makes a brief appearance.
With such big boots to fill, the steaks may have been high, but the story follows on well. It is certainly quirky, absolutely jam-packed with puns and has a rather strong commentary – in regards to green politics and environmental preservation – if you look for it. In terms of an animated feature, it has everything it needs, yet lacks that finishing touch. Whilst funny and brilliantly voiced, it isn’t as hilarious as the original, with very little character development (i.e. Flint and Sam’s relationship isn’t acknowledged), and overall it feels a little rushed.
The food-and-fun-filled sequel to 2009′s successful CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS should be relished though, for carrying on its originality, timeless recognisable style of animation and sense of humour. To summarise, it is thoroughly enjoyable both stylistically and due to its lovable characters, and is arguably one of the better animated films in recent years. One might even say it can’t be beet. Four Stars
This review was originally posted over at The Hollywood News.