Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Food goes on the fritz in this animated adventure
Food takes on a life of its own in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. After his food making machine, an invention that turned simple water molecules into scrumptious entrees, went berserk in the first movie, Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader), his father Tim (voice of James Caan) and everyone else on the island of Swallow Falls are forced to evacuate.
An environmental group, The Live Corp, is called in to clean up the leftovers and restore the island. At the head of the company is Flint’s idol Chester V (voice of Will Forte). While deploying his team of ecological engineers, he invites Flint to be part of his ultra hip, caffeine-driven, cubicle dwelling work force. Theses are the people always toiling to invent something new and fantastic for Chester V’s consumption hungry public.
But after one dismal failure follows another, Flint begins to wonder if he’ll ever get a chance to be part of Chester V’s inner sanctum of scientists. Then one day he is summoned to the head honcho’s high tech office and given the opportunity to return to the island and take on a secret, one-man mission. Flint is so excited that he fails to withhold this confidential information and before long he is headed back to Swallow Falls with his father and his friends Sam Sparks (voice of Anna Farris), Brent (voice of Andy Samberg), Manny (voice of Benjamin Bratt), Earl (voice of Terry Crews) and his monkey Steve (voice of Neil Patrick Harris).
Once they’re back home, the group discovers the food machine is still working. But now it’s creating food-animal mutants like shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons and green onion brontosauruses. In order to stop the machine, Flint and his friends have to get past the hungry tacodiles, wade through the maple syrup bog and scale the big rock candy mountain.
The fantasy elements in this film rise to a new high with a Jurassic Park-like theme on the island. Even the musical score sounds surprisingly similar to the dinosaur movie. Thankfully the script contains a healthy helping of jokes for the parents and plenty of imaginative creatures for young viewers. Some brief moments of peril (involving a hungry cheese throwing hamburger spider and the threat of falling into a giant food grinder) along with moments of bullying and an apparent death are the movie’s biggest concerns for parents of little children. Otherwise this creative diversion, with its crazy food creatures and an earnest young scientist, cooks up a tantalizing tale about the power of friendship, family relationships and scientific integrity. And that makes it a pretty appetizing entertainment option for family audiences.