Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, 2013) Review

I'm am very aware that there was a sequel to the original book in which Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was based on but, even with this in mind, I still didn't really want a sequel film as much as I liked the original film. Can't animated films just be left as one offs (like The Iron Giant for example)? I guess not but we still have this to review so let's take a look at Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs least they're honest about the title...

Continuing straight after the first film (so, I guess spoilers for the first film), Flint (Bill Hader) and his friends declare a partnership after the destruction of the FLDMSDFR however they are interviened by the arrival of Flint's childhood hero, Chester V (Will Forte), who seems intrigued by Flint's inventing skills and offers to clean up Swallow Falls and relocate the island citizens to California. Chester reveals to Flint that the island is no inhabited by food-imals (animals made entirely from food) so Flint gathers the team together once more to finish off the FLDMSDFR for good and clear the island of food-imals.

First and foremost I have to get the REALLY BIG negative point out of the way. The narrative, while it throws distractions at you, is a complete rehash of the first one. There were moments where I honestly thought I was watching the first one. Sam warns Flint, villain makes Flint ignore her, villain plan backfires, Flint feels bad and mopes for a while. It's almost identical. There are also moments where it seems like they want to start a sub-plot but it never goes anywhere. Also characters like Manny and Earl (now voiced by Terry Crews...what the hell is Mr. T doing instead exactly?) serve no purpose and have no business being in the film. So, yeah, the plot is a bit of a mess.

That's really the only big flaw as I still found myself enjoying the film. It's as imaginative, if not more, as the first film as I was genuinely curious how what other food-imals they could come up with. I also found enjoyment in the subplot surrounding Flint's dad and some pickles...yep! It retains what make the original great with the wacky animation, sense of humour and also characters. Chester V is a good addition and Will Forte does a pretty good job of the voice especially when matched with some very nice and fluid animation specifically devised for Chester V. It's a shame that Bruce Campbell and Mr. T didn't come back.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is, at heart, a rehash of the first film as it just re-uses plot elements from the first film and while it is a huge flaw with the film, there is so much creativity and energy put into the film that it can still be considering worth watching if you are a fan of the first film. If you didn't think that much of the first then this is one to skip but I still found enjoyment out of it despite the flaws. Do you actually want to see an animated film from last year that is below the bar? EXCELLENT! Join me next time as we go back to the world of Cars...or...above the world of Cars, technically...

Despite it's huge, glaring flaws, there is still plenty of life in this film...but there are still the aforementioned huge, glaring flaws!

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