CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2: 4 STARS
Here’s the best way to gauge your potential enjoyment of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” Imagine a scene in a boat. Then imagine a panicked voice saying, “There’s a leak in the boat!”
Cut to… a leek, with eyes and a mouth, screaming, “No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”
If that kind of grocery gag makes you giggle then this animated follow-up to the fanciful 2009 Anna Faris, Bill Hader hit may be for you.
Me, I laughed both times they used that joke in the movie.
The new film picks up where the last one left off. The Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator—FLDSMDFR for short—has left the planet covered in food. When scientific superstar and Thinkquanaut Chester V (Will Forte)—a bizarre mix of the Steves, Jobs and Hawking—offers to clean up the mess Flint Lockwood’s (Hader) machine made and give the inventor a job at the LIVE Corp—the “coolest and hippest company in the world”—it appears everything may work out for the best.
Before you can say, “Clean up in aisle nine,” however, things take a strange turn when Flint and friends—meteorologist Sam Sparks (Faris), policeman Earl (Terry Crews), Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) and Manny (Benjamin Bratt)—visit their former island home to find it overrun with food creatures. Foodimals like watermelophants, shrimpanzees, double bacon cheespiders, the Tacodile Supreme and Barry, the world’s cutest strawberry, have created their own ecosystem. Think of it as a delicious Island of Doctor Moreau, or a foodie’s “Jurassic Park.”
Flint’s job is to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it before the cuisine creatures can leave the island and invade the rest of the planet. He and his friends are in for the food fight of their lives.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is a surreal story with familiar themes about friendship and believing in yourself, but instead of conveying those messages through a talking giraffe or a sardonic dinosaur, it features a bizarre array of talking groceries.
The movie’s imagination, inventiveness and humor are its selling points. The creatures are fantastic, the food puns are delicious and the story moves along faster than a sous chef chopping parsley. There’s sight gags galore and there’s even jokes for foodie parents.
Barb (Kristen Schaal), an orangutan with a genius IQ explains that Chester V “put a human brain in my monkey brain—like a turducken.”
And like a turducken “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” offers up layers of fun for every member of the family.