Set directly after the events of the original film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 follows eccentric young scientist Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) who having saved his home of Swallow Falls from his own food-creating device, the FLDSMDFR begins looking to his future. However immediately after agreeing to setup a laboratory with his friends Manny (Benjamin Bratt) Earl (Terry Crews), Brent (Andy Samberg) and his girlfriend Sam Sparks (Anna Farris) he is approached by eccentric creator and founder of LIVE Corp., Chester V (Will Forte) who offers him a place on his high-profile scientific team whose team are hired to clean up the World from all the giant food. After a few months, having failed to make his mark as an inventor, Flint is entrusted with a secret mission to return to Swallow Falls to destroy the FLDSMDFR and wipe out an entire eco-system of living food.
The quick-fire nature of a lot of the comedy is where Cloudy 2 really excels. There are more visual gags than spoken, with antics of characters like Steve the Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris) and Barry the strawberry proving laugh out loud highlights. The overwhelming sense of the bizarre is still on display and if the first film felt a bit like the sort of animated film that David Cronenberg would make, then Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is probably like an animated film by David Lynch. It’s weird and wonderful, but just not quite to the same level.
The script gets by on the strength of the characters and the jokes, which is fortuitous because there is little to recommend the actual story. An almost The Lost World meets Jurassic Park clone, it is when the characters are forced into situations to drive the narrative that it is at it’s least entertaining and the middle portion does begin to drag as the jokes begin to dry up. The level of creativity with the creatures however is excellent and makes up for the parody Apple company who prove to be the films underdeveloped villains. They are certainly no substitute for Bruce Campbell’s excellent ˜big’ mayor.
An animated film franchise quite unlike anything else out there, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a unusual, intelligent and fun series of films to watch and this proves to be no exception. There’s enough jokes in the opening act and enough wonder throughout to make up for the sketchy and loose scripting issues, although it never reaches the wonderful heights of the original.