Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

After Flint Lockwood and his friends save the world from the food storm in the first film, super-inventor Chester V, the CEO of Live Corp, is tasked to clean the island. He relocates Flint, his friends, and the citizens of Swallow Falls to San Franjose, California. Unbeknownst to Flint, the FLDSMDFR survived the explosion and landed in the center of the island, and Chester is determined to find it. Chester invites Flint, his biggest fan, to work at Live Corp, where he meets Chester’s assistant Barb, a talking orangutan with human intelligence. Six months later, Flint humiliates himself during a promotion ceremony when his invention “Party-In-A-Box” explodes. Meanwhile, Chester is informed that his search-parties on the island have been attacked by monstrous cheeseburgers which are learning how to swim. Fearing the world’s inevitable doom, Chester tasks Flint to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it once and for all. Despite Chester’s demands to keep the mission classified, Flint recruits his girlfriend, meteorologist Sam Sparks; her cameraman Manny; police officer Earl Devereaux; Steve, a monkey who communicates via a device on his head; and “Chicken” Brent. Much to Flint’s dismay, his father Tim joins the crew and they travel to Swallow Falls on his fishing boat.

Upon arriving back at Swallow Falls, they notice that a jungle-like environment has overgrown the island. Tim stays behind while Flint and the others investigate, finding a vast habitat of living food animals. Tim, searching for food at his abandoned tackle shop, encounters a family of humanoid pickles and bonds with them by fishing. Chester discovers that Flint allowed his friends to join him on the mission, so Chester travels to the island with Barb, chagrined and determined to separate them. After escaping a Tacodile attack, Sam notices that the foodimal was protecting its family, and begins to suspect Chester is up to no good. Flint finds his former lab and invents a device that can track the FLDSMDFR. Sam attempts to convince Flint to spare the foodimals, but Flint is intent on making Chester proud. Sam leaves in anger, and Flint’s other companions go with her (including Steve). In the jungle, Sam proves that the foodimals mean no harm by taming a Cheespider. Upon realizing Chester’s intentions, the group is then ambushed by Live Corp employees.

Flint finds the FLDSMDFR, but notices a family of cute marshmallows and becomes hesitant to destroy the machine. Chester immediately seizes control of the FLDSMDFR and announces his plot to make his updated line of food bars out of the foodimals. A crushed Flint is knocked into the river but rescued by the marshmallows. Flint is taken to his father, and they and the foodimals all work together to allow Flint to infiltrate the Live Corp building that is under construction on the island. Flint frees the trapped foodimals and confronts Chester, who threatens to make food bars out of his friends. Chester makes several holograms of himself to overwhelm Flint, but Flint uses the “Party-In-A-Box” to expose the real Chester. An army of foodimals arrive and Flint’s friends are freed by Barb, who had a change of heart. Chester tries to make off with the FLDSMDFR, but is eaten by a Cheespider. With the island safe from Chester and with Live Corp destroyed, Flint returns the FLDSMDFR to its place and the foodimals continue to live in peace as more are born. The film ends with Flint fishing with his father for the first time, finding it enjoyable. During a post-credits scene, Barb reveals to have a crush on Steve

REVIEW:

According to my friends on Facebook, this apparently was the weekend to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Many of them are watching it as I type these words. For those of you that aren’t cool enough (Ha Ha!) to be watching this today, I hope my words will convince you to go check this out.

What is this about?

Inventor Flint Lockwood is forced to leave his new dream job when he discovers his notorious machine is still running — and is pumping out mutant food beasts! Now, he must battle creatures including shrimpanzees, tacodiles and jellyfish sandwiches.

What did I like?

Food. The design of these food creatures is just stunning. Your breath will be taken away when the camera pulls back and you see the majesty of them all. Think back to the first time you see the Brontosaurus in Jurassic Park. It is a similar feeling (and scene). Also, the simplistic creativity and puns were quite entertaining.

Continuation. So many sequels take place an unspecified time after their predecessor. This flick doesn’t waste time. It literally picks up where Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs left off (even if it has been 4 years since the original). This makes for a continuation that very few seem to want to take a chance on. The only other sequel that I can think of that does picks up right after the end of the first film are the Back to the Future sequels.

Character design. The design of the new characters, such as Chester V is amazing. The fluidity in which he moves with is very rubbery. I was thinking of some of the characters from Samurai Jack or others by Genndy Tartakovsky. I’ve already mentioned the food, but I have to brink up the cuteness of Barry the Strawberry. As the film goes on, this little guy gets cuter, especially when he’s becomes more than just a talking strawberry. There are also the pickles that give Flint’s dad a reason to be in this film. Each has their own personality and design. My favorite is the one that looks like he should be some sort of mad scientist.

What didn’t I like?

Replacement. For some reason, Mr. T. didn’t reprise his character Earl the cop. I don’t really know why he didn’t, so I won’t jump on his case about that. However, Terry Crews, who does his own thing, isn’t a replacement. In a way, I’m glad he didn’t try to do a Mr. T. impression, but at the same time I kind of wish he would have, just so that we know that he was the same character. With Crews, they tried to make him the same Officer Earl from the first film, but it just didn’t work.

Falling into the trap. I really hate to say this, but this film falls into the typical traps kids films fall into these days. Use of bright colors, loud music, etc. For the effect this film is going for, some of that works, but there comes a point where it just seems to lost its originality and is just following a formula. Why couldn’t it start a new formula?

Divide and conquer. For some reason, part of Chester V’s plan involves him and his assistant, and apelike creature that could have just as well been an annoying little kid, trying to get Flint away from his compatriots, especially Sam Sparks. Knowing how this film ends, I’m still wondering why they just didn’t kidnap them in the first place, rather than trying to divide and conquer, which obviously wasn’t an effective plot.

I get asked all the time about good family animated flicks. Well, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 falls into that category. It isn’t dumbed down to the point that adults will be bored and not too smart for the little ones to enjoy. The balance, along with the fun character design and exciting finale are worth the 95 minutes it takes to watch. I highly recommend this film, even if the plot doesn’t seem resonate as well as the first. Check it out, though, it is worth it!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

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3 Responses to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”

  1. It is a very fun film, that provides fun for young and old. And that is a very well written review, that does the film justice.

    I actually did not notice the difference with Officer Earl. Maybe it was because I watched the two films so far apart.

  2. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

  3. […] human disguise, he is still moving around like a slinky! How does no one get this? The villain in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 does something similar, but he’s a yoga nut, if I recall. Also, the design of this guy […]

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