After the delightfully optimistic Flint Lockwood’s mega invention THE FLDSMDFR went berserk globally, it more than raised some iBalls in the international science community. Once it had turned the Eiffel Tower into a giant sandwich toothpick flag, two of the iBalls that it turned belonged to Chester V, the world-famous super inventor, who is a slightly more evil avatar of Steve Jobs and wears a honeycomb vest instead of the famed turtleneck. Taking on the responsibility to clean up the island of leftovers as an excuse, he sends all the inhabitants of Swallow Falls packing and employs Flint to be a part of his team at Live Corp. But the havoc caused by THE FLDSMDFR is not a small job to clean. It has caused some sort of a weird mutation bringing to life Foodimals who now inhabit the island and are trying to learn to swim so that they can spread out. It is again Flint who is handed the responsibility to stop the machine. Armed with his friends, he takes on the mission unaware of any hidden agenda.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 has the most awesome visual design I have seen in a long time. The best thing it does is it lets cartoons be cartoons and doesn’t try to detail it too much. And the end result is even better than the first movie. Also, the voice cast is brilliant with much of the original actors reprising their roles and even Terry Crews, who replaces the huge shoes left by Mr.T as the hilariously athletic cop Earl Devereaux, comes out golden.
What it seriously lacks, it is all in the originality department. Much of the humor is born out of the humor we have already seen in the first movie, and the two major new characters introduced i.e. Chester V and his talking ape Barb are humongously unimaginative and giant bores. Plus the soundtrack is a drag, trying too hard to be a Jurassic Park, almost deadening the activities with its single note symphony. Also, the film tries referencing but ends up revering movies like Avatar and Jurassic Park and that is never a good thing.
Now I completely love the first movie. Not only did it have a very quirky sense of humor for an animated movie and a brilliant visual design, it also worked as allegory for cholesterol. While the initial appetizing images of food caused my keyboard to malfunction due to the copious amounts of saliva I drooled that day, the sight of the spaghetti tornado scared the foodie in me to look for healthier, greener pastures. And that is what mostly elevated the movie for me to the pedestal of my favorite animated since Ratatouille. That is what is mostly missing from this movie. But the movie is enjoyable in portions and hilarious in parts. I completely loved the cute strawberry Barry, and Steve the Monkey voiced by Neil Patrick Harris kills me still. Plus there are a lot of food puns laced throughout the film which are downright funny. The best moment was reserved for Mr. Lockwood though, who exasperated by the Chester V mania comments “I don’t get vests. What, is it winter in your torso but summer in your arms?”
I just wish the movie was a little better directed and consistently paced. I couldn’t make up my mind if I was supposed to feel hungry for delicious looking Foodimals and ended up hating myself for even having the thought of eating such cute creatures and passing them as poo. It had all the elements going for it, but it fails to become a gourmet dinner and only manages a junk food certificate. It is still an enjoyable movie, especially if you haven’t watched the first one. And I’ll suggest if haven’t yet, watch this one before watching the first. You will laugh a lot more than I did.
PS: Stay for the credits. They get hilarious after a minute or so.