Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Picking up where the events of the first one left off (but don’t fret if you forget or missed out), inventor Flint Lockwood and company are whisked away from their town that is overrun with food. Working for his childhood idol and the popular Live Corp Company, Flint is informed that he must return home and retrieve an old invention that has flooded the island with tenacious animal-like foods.
Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, and Will Forte make up a very funny voice ensemble that also includes Kristen Schaal is a monkey, err ape.
Whenever this gorgeously-animated, pun-filled family film appears to be coming close to any sort of important message or teachable moment, it seems to stop and run the other way. With a chance to foster some sort of discussion about the way in which humans interact with their environment, how they treat animals, and how they blindly worship those they ought not, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 shies away, preferring to be straightforward and innocuous.
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t have the strength of its convictions; it makes last year’s The Lorax look like The Inconvenient Truth with it comes to a statement about the environment. What happens is simple: the idealistic entrepreneur Flint Lockwood and his merry band of misfits return home to discover that his old invention is producing animalistic food.
The rich and famous businessman Chester, an idol of Flint’s who with his bald head, goatee, casual footwear, and populous message bears a striking similarity to one late tech company founder, sends Flint on a mission that isn’t as it seems. Flint is told the animals are mean and nasty and must be avoided, while also being informed his mission is philanthropic in nature and personally beneficial.
It’s not all quite as it seems, and may be cunning to younger viewers, but adults will take note that those few pro-environmental, anti-business, and life-will-find-a-way-Jurassic-Park moments are half-hearted and wasted.
There is plenty to enjoy, just as long as you don’t dig too deep. Beautifully-rendered, and pretty regularly chuckle-worthy, Meatballs 2 embraces silliness and has a gad of a time coming up with names for these hybrid food creature. Still, it’s easy to shake your head – why do they seem to care so much about the animals but really crave fishing? It’s a movie – it doesn’t matter.
Should You See It?
It’s a harmless family film that will be easily digested and discarded. It’s worth a viewing, but will quickly be forgotten.