Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published November 30th 2013
A truly tasty sequel
Directors: Cody Cameron (Open Season 3), Kris Pearn Cast of Voices: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris
As animated sequels go, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 ranks among the best in recent years. It manages to keep all the ingredients of the original without feeling like warmed up leftovers. It's hard to imagine anyone who loved the first turning their nose up at this equally tasty second course.
Flint and co. return to a world of living food animal hybrids
All the elastic-limbed characters from the original are back, including budding inventor Flint, his loyal chimp sidekick Steve and romantic interest Sam Sparks. This time around Flint must save the day again by cleaning up his island home after the cataclysmic destruction caused by his food creating device (the clumsily named FLDSMDFR). It transpires that the carnage has created a world of morphed food animals.
The result is the kind of densely detailed universe of invented creatures that made the Toy Story and Monsters Inc films so popular. The richly colourful world contains everything from cute and cuddly strawberries and marshmallows to fierce teeth-gnashing tacos (tacodiles) and hamburgers with french fries for legs and sesame seeds for eyes. It also allows the writers to come up with more visual food puns than you can shake a french stick at. Imagine a world full of hippotatomi or fruit cockateils.
Flint flanked by his new employer, legendary inventor Chester V and his orangutan assistant Barb.
The result is an inventively funny piece of entertainment, paced so briskly it easily holds the attention of a cinema full of kids in addition to having adults laughing loudly.
As Flint is called upon to use his ingenuity to save his home, there's a clear yet never sermonising message of respecting the environment, caring for others while maintaining your individuality and being loyal to your friends. One plot element is strikingly similar to Pixar's Up in that the protagonist's childhood hero turns out to be an evil megalomaniac (I'm not spoiling anything for you, this is signposted from the start).
Flint's Dad, Tim, goes fishing with some pickled companions.
With its familiar mix of silliness, cute characters, clever details, fast pace and life lessons, Meatballs 2 is close enough to its progenitor to please loyal fans but fresh enough with its humour and new gallery of foodie critters to stand on its own merits. A third helping wouldn't be out of the question.