If you thought the big screen world of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs couldn’t get any stranger, you obviously haven’t visited a world full of live, hybrid leftovers.
Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn (the latter having some involvement with the film’s predecessor) are fully aware as to how Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs won audiences over with its wild visuals and bizarre sense of humour. That’s why there’s even more of those two factors in this energetic sequel.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn’t feel like its trying too hard to stand on its own using a script penned by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, and Erica Rivinoja. An immediate observation though between the two films is that this one offers lots of jokes that dabble in potty humour – something the first surprisingly and impressively had very little of.
It also doesn’t feel like this sequel is trying to out-weird Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The premise for this second outing teases the filmmakers to go buck wild with the absurdities. Funny enough, Cameron and Pearn keep the film focused on its story instead of offering a plethora of random jokes involving random concoctions.
The main players all happily return to voice their characters. All except Mr. T’s Officer Earl Devereaux, who is now flawlessly voiced by Terry Crews.
The plot has been stretched out and takes its time to establish Bill Hader’s Flint Lockwood even more. We learn Lockwood looks up to and idolizes a wobbly Steve Jobs inspired super-inventor named Chester V (voiced by Will Forte) and vies to become one of Chester V’s scientific mercenaries.
The beginning may take more patience than expected with young ones since our motley crew doesn’t end up on the leftover island until the film’s second act. But, the movie consistently offers funny dialogue and vivid animation to hold the audience’s attention.
The directorial duo are also aware that because this is a sequel to a film that was a highly original adaptation, they must step up the creativity as well – and they succeed.
The leftovers that run amok in Swallow Falls are nothing you’ve ever seen before. Each animal captures a certain child-like innocence and puts a new spin on “playing with your food”.
I was delighted with each new creature that made its way onto the screen and I often found myself in fits of laughter. The film’s multiple food puns may be easy targets after a while, but the ridiculous context makes it all gel in this imaginative universe.
While Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 has that added novelty of being a movie that gives watchers a chance to say insane things like, “I watched James Caan befriend a group of dill pickles and then take them fishing”, it’s far from being a breezy time waster that panders to a hyperactive generation using absurdities.
It’s one of those rare sequels that lives up to the originality and hilarity of its predecessor, while also being able to stand on its own two legs as inventive entertainment. It sticks to a children’s film layout with a lesson being delivered to its target demographic, but the craziness never flies off the rails – allowing parents to have as much fun as the kids.
Speaking of kids, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is so imaginative, it may encourage young ones to expand their creative horizons. Before we know it, they’ll be thinking outside their own party box.