Shrimpanzee, Buffaloaf, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish and talking strawberries are only a few of the amazing creatures that now inhabit Swallow Falls. What more is there to discover? Find out in my review of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 after the jump.
We join Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) and his friends and family right where Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs left off, standing in the food wasteland that their home, Swallow Falls, has become after Flint’s FLDSMDFR food machine malfunctioned. Luckily for the residents, super-genius inventor (and Flint’s idol), Chester V (voiced by Will Forte), the CEO of Live Corp has offered to assist with the clean-up. He whisks the residents away to California while the clean-up is undertaken and offers Flint the chance to become an inventor at Live Corp. Flint has always dreamed of becoming a ‘thinkonaut’ (Live Corp’s élite inventors) and blindly accepts his idol’s offer.
When Flint makes a huge blunder at work, he’s willing to do anything Chester asks to get in his good graces. Chester capitalises on Flint’s naïve eagerness by sending him back to Swallow Falls, where the Live Corp thinkonauts have been unable to find the FLDSMDFR. Although he was specifically told to go alone, Flint’s friends and family won’t let him travel to the potentially dangerous island unaided. They too, want to see their home, and unlike Flint, they can’t blindly trust everything Chester says. What they discover at Swallow Falls, is a world which none of them could have ever imagined, an entire eco-system of food people and food animals…
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 surely holds the crown for the most food puns in one film. From leeks in a boat, to bananas splitting, the film is brimming with them. It’s hard not to giggle at the likes of clingy strawberries with big anime eyes,kiwi birds made from fruit and eco cars which run on cute. All of these elements combined make for one very silly and amusing film.
All of the characters from the first film are back, with Steve the monkey (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris) and Earl the Police officer (voiced by Terry Crews) providing consistent laughs throughout. The relationship between Flint and his father (voiced by James Caan) is a moving one, and the immense worry which Flint’s father harbours for him while he is out doing mad-cap things, feels very genuine. I like how he lets Flint do his thing, knowing things will probably end in disaster, and is there to help him if it does. Giving your child enough rope to forge their own path, while still watching out for them, is surely the goal of most parents.
The real weakness of the film is the villain, Chester V and his company Live Corp. The company is cleared based on a “trendy” new tech company such as Apple or Google, with Chester it’s seemingly good, but possibly evil CEO. His motivations are as fickle as the character is and it really lets the film down. However, when you’re immersed in the fantastical food world that Swallow Falls has become, it’s easy enough to forget the story and marvel in the truly imaginative, colourful and energetic land. It’s not ever day you see a Bananostrich or Apple Pie-thon after all.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan M., Erica Rivinoja (screenplay)
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris
Runtime: 95 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: December 5, 2013