Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a humorous yet unfocused romp - so unwilling to settle on a single theme that hyperactivity medication should be handed out with the 3-D glasses.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a humorous yet unfocused romp — so unwilling to settle on a single theme that hyperactivity medication should be handed out with the 3-D glasses.
The animated sequel starts as a clever and slightly sinister deconstruction of Silicon Valley culture, before morphing into a lightweight Jurassic Park parody, then morphing again into a rousing Avatar-style nature versus machines battle.
Cloudy 2 begins where the first film left off, with the island of Swallow Falls covered in giant foodstuffs, courtesy of inventor Flint Lockwood’s out-of-control cheeseburger replicator.
The newly vindicated scientist (voiced again by Bill Hader) is given a choice: to join his friends in a startup or head west and become a cog in Live Corp, led by a tech-sector icon in the semifictitious city of San Franjose.
For a clever 30 minutes, Sony Pictures Animation almost succeeds in out- Wall-E-ing Pixar. Live Corp’s leader is the cultlike figure Chester V, who champions innovation while quietly turning great young minds into over-caffeinated drones.
But Chester V is just a way to get the crew back to Swallow Falls, which is being overrun by food/animal hybrids — including fearsome Tacodile Supremes, Watermelophants and Shrimpanzees.
An upside: The jokes prove effective no matter where the film travels.
Two new directors and writers duplicate the witty irreverence of the original. The character design in these films is particularly strong, which rescues some of the more obvious sight gags.
The climax proves notably similar to the first film’s final conflict — a sign that the writers might have just collapsed with exhaustion.