I love Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. It's a visual foody treat, laced with great characters and some fantastic humour. I've watched it a good few times, and I always seem to find myself chuckling several times throughout. So imagine my joy when a sequel was announced. It may have been a shameless cash grab, but with a great first movie to work from, I was expecting great things.
Cloudy 2 picks up where the first left off, exactly eight minutes after actually. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and the rest of the inhabitants of Swallow Falls are sent mainland while their home is cleared of the leftovers caused by Flint's FLDSMDFR. But when it becomes apparent that the machine is still operational, and spewing out sentient foody animals, Flint and his gang of close friends return to the island to stop the machine once and for all.
As you can probably guess, food puns abound in this movie. From Tacodiles to shrimpanzees, every creature is perfectly modelled after food items for maximum wordplay potential. The animals look amazing, especially with the lush, edible environments they're given to walk around in. The bold, colourful style of the first movie definitely carries over, making this instalment a great treat for the eyes.
Unfortunately, that's the best thing about this movie. The plot is something of a twisty turny adventure with no real substance, and introduces new characters who are nowhere near fleshed out enough, and did little to hold my interest during their screen time. Thankfully we have the original gang back in action, with many of the voice actors returning on top form, especially Hader and Ann Faris, and even Terry Crews doing a great job replacing Mr. T. But as charming as they are, they all seem to be shadows of their former selves. Much of their development happened in the first movie, and now they just seem to be coasting along, with much of the dialogue and jokes seeming like rehashed stuff from the first instalment. There are still some good gags to be found, including a few very subtle ones that had me chuckling, but Meatballs 2 just seems to lack the charm and humour of the original.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 is a fairly solid sequel. It looks fantastic, but suffers from a convoluted yet meagre plot and some boring new characters. It's certainly watchable, I would probably even think more of it if it were a standalone movie, but since I hold the original in such high esteem, and know the great heights the franchise can reach, the sequel just seems lacking in comparison.
My rating: 3/5