01 July, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

ANUFilm was soliciting reviews for their Semester1, 2014 programme, so I applied. This is my review of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013). I didn't quite get to see this film before reviewing it (But I had some info from friends who had) and it's not exactly the most opaque story to tell from the trailers and promo clips.
Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) returns to his home town and island, Swallow Falls to deal with the continuing fallout of his food generating machine, thought to be destroyed in the first movie. Not only is the machine still operating, but it’s developed sentience and is now creating food/animal hybrids called “foodimals”. Along for the ride are many popular characters from the first movie like fellow geek and heart-throb, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), Flint’s dad Tim (James Caan), former child star Brent (Andy Samberg), Steve the monkey (Neil Patrick Harris) and Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews). A new major character is Flint’s hero and inspiration, Chester V (Will Forte) - a sort-of melange of Steve Jobs and John Hammond.
A notable cast change from the first movie is replacing Mr. T with Terry Crews. Crews is certainly a good substitute though, as he’s also ten sizes larger than life (look him up on YouTube if you’re unsure).
The trippy colours and surreal environments are just as vivid as they were in the first film. The wacky humour and slapstick action just as enjoyable. If you liked the first film, you’ll love this one too. If you haven’t seen the first one, don’t worry, this appeals to wider audiences than just kids. The new foodimals characters expand the opportunities for humorous surrealism and sly sight-gags (Jurassic Park comes to mind, as many of its iconic scenes are paid homage to here).