Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 continues not long after the first film’s finale. Flint’s food-creating invention, the FLDSMDFR, has mostly destroyed his home town. Enter Chester V, the CEO of Live Corp and Flint’s personal hero, whose company has been self-appointed to clean up the island. All the residents are relocated and Flint is offered a job in Live Corp, a dream offer that he graciously accepts. Little do Flint and his friends know, the FLDSMDFR has started working again, creating food-animal type creatures that have taken over the island. Chester V hires Flint to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it. Of course, Flint’s friends go along as well.
This lively sequel follows the same goofy stylings of the first film. The animation is wild and creative, ensuring that even the kids with the shortest attention spans don’t have a spare second to look away. The plot rocks along at a very fast pace; so fast, in fact, that many jokes – and even plot points – fly past without giving the audience much time to put things together. This isn’t too much of a qualm, considering that the target audience will likely be hypnotised by the frenetic style.
The humour is witty and wild, but the punchlines are definitely aimed at the young. That being said, the feel-good nature of the film does manage to come through thanks to the likeability of these characters. Flint and his friends are a friendly and charming team. Sure, they easily fit stereotypes, but they’re an amusing, friendly, harmless bunch that serve the story well. The voice cast, which includes Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris and Benjamin Bratt, all do a great job. In particular, Terry Crews, taking over the role of Earl, the town cop, from Mr. T.
There are the usual “life-lessons” delivered, although there are perhaps too many ideals being thrown about here. Apart from the usual stick-with-your-true-friends message, the film also attempts to cram in messages on corporate responsibility, animal protection, and how kiddies should be kind to their dads. Sweet life-lessons, indeed, but it feels like it’s all crammed into an already overflowing package.
Ultimately, the film aims to entertain, which it does well. There’s no moment spared in this brightly coloured 3D experience. Jurassic Park influences abound in some truly creative sequences and there are more puns here than you can throw a circular amount of ground meat at. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is an amusing, gag-filled adventure that suffers a little with an overabundance of ingredients. Importantly, the kiddies won’t be complaining about this meal.