Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

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cloudyJust like the sequel to Despicable Me 2 a few months back – this isn’t nearly as good. That doesn’t mean the kids won’t eat it up (no pun intended).

Based on the Judi and Ronald Barrett’s children’s book, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs had visuals probably caught everyone by surprise.

When I see these disappointing animated movies, it’s always that there just aren’t enough jokes that work. It’s not that I hold them all up to the best – Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Up.

The animation is breathtaking, sure. It just needed a better script; but hey…when the first movie made $243 million dollars, I think the studio is just concerned with grinding out more product instead of writing something of quality.

Flint Lockwood’s weather machine/food maker, is now being sought after by TV scientist and his idol, Chester V (Will Forte). He and his cronies believe Swallow Falls is too dangers to inhabit. The device produces food animals, which become predators (the fruits all look so appetizing, the tacos and cheeseburgers look gross). I think the Cheeseburger spider, with French fry legs, should be tied in with that new Burger King burger they’re touting with French fries in it.

The foods all have cutesy names – Fla-mangoes and Shrimpanzees are the only ones I remember. Anyway, the town evacuates and Flint (the talented voice of Bill Hader) joins Chester V to work at an invention factory. It’s safe to assume Chester V has other motives, since he’s always stroking his evil shaped goatee. Chester V is a rather bland villain at times, yet does have a few moments of brilliance when he seems to be channeling Steve Jobs and the Mad Hatter.

The cast of characters include his fisherman dad (James Caan). I love how we never see his eyes.

Meteorologist Sam (Anna Faris), Cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Brent (Andy Samberg), Steve the monkey (Neil Patrick Harris), and a cop named Earl (played by Terry Crews, who replaces Mr. T from the original). I’m not sure how folks will like the stereotype of having his kid turn his cap backwards while saying “Yo, what up?” while courting a girl, or seeing Earl ride into town on a huge watermelophant.

I loved hearing Kristen Schaal, because she has such an interesting voice (unfortunately the show Bob’s Burgers isn’t funny). She’s also an incredible comedic talent. Hopefully she does more animated features.

While watching the various chases through syrupy streams and various sticky substances…I thought of the much more enjoyable Wreck It Ralph.

Aside from Richard Lederer, I don’t know anyone who will enjoy one food pun after another.  Perhaps kids old enough to get them (over 8), but young enough to still think they’re funny (under 18). I brought my friends 18-year-old daughter and she loved it.

The movie is directed by Kris Pearn and Cody Cameron, who did the charming Arthur Christmas.

The score was done by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, and it was okay.

The intro states that this is “another film by a lot of people.” Yeah. That’s never a good sign. And one of the four screenwriters on it did the horribly overrated Horrible Bosses.

The frenetic pace and cheesy jokes will please the kids, and even give them a sugar rush. For children, I’d give this 3 ½ stars out of 5.

For adults, it gets 1 ½ out of 5.

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