If it comes to sequels, it’s always important to deter the story moving, the characters evolving and the crowds intrigued. Once again – courtesy of the Sony Animation Studios – brings us Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, a direct follow up from its 2009 predecessor.
Following up from the events of the first film, the island of Swallow Falls has now been quarantined. Flint Lockwood’s (Hader) weather machine or FLDSMDFR – Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator – has caused havoc, leaving his hometown and alternative parts of the world overcrowded with gargantuan pieces of food. All from large donuts, monster meatballs and colossal spaghetti have fallen from the sky, prompting an emergency clean-up. Led by celebrated inventor, Chester V (Forte), plus his talking ape assistant, Projection (Schaal), all the residents are tout de suite evacuated.
In the meantime, Flint is assigned a job at the Live Corp’s Northern California headquarters. Ahead with his cheeky sidekick monkey Steve (Harris), new girlfriend Sam Sparks (Faris), cameraman Manny (Bratt), fisherman father Tim Lockwood (Caan) and local celebrity mascot, Brent (Samberg), he happily heads off to the West Coast.
Unfortunately, the creative inventor soon realises that he doesn’t positively fit in the corporate world and that his allegedly diffused weather machine is in fact functional and is responsible for the creation of some peculiar food-animal hybrids. ‘Shrimpanzees’, ‘Cheespiders’ and ‘Watermelophants’ have altered the island’s entire ecosystem; Flint and his team desperately need to return to the island to save the anthropomorphic race, but soon learn that the villainous Chester has other plans for them.
Bringing the characters to life, the cast deliver their lively roles with both excitement and enthusiasm, with many of the members returning to their respective roles. As the leader of the pack, Hader offers more from the same appeal and likeability as the wide-eyed inventor, while Faris is a real hoot since his rather quirky girlfriend.
As the mischievous monkey, Harris delivers most of the laughs, whilst Caan and the rest of the gang all serve up silly, yet charming, performances. The food-monsters are also thoroughly entertaining to watch, especially the walking and talking ‘Barry the Strawberry’.
Alongside this, the visuals are truly magnificent and the apt use of 3D manages to transport the audience to a world where anything is possible.
Though the storyline is slightly thinner this time around, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 successfully manages to hold on to most of its appealable characteristics from the first film; silly humour, clever conversation and a hell of a lot of wordplay, all wrapped up in a light, easy and enjoyable watch.