Movie Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 movie poster
The first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came to theaters in 2009, and was based on the children's book of the same name. I did see it in the theater and I remember liking it a lot - it was a kids movie yet geared towards adults as well, and highly humorous. The second CWACOMB, however, is unfortunately not quite as funny, and although there's definitely cuteness and some humor sprinkled throughout, it garnered chuckles rather than all-out laughs.

The second movie starts off eight minutes after the first leaves off (so we're told). Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), his dad (James Caan), and his girlfriend Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) leave Swallow Falls once the mutated food started to take over the island, and they relocate to San Franjose, California, where Flint has been invited to work for Live Corp., a company run by his idol Chester V (Will Forte). Flint is very excited about this opportunity, but when he doesn't get picked to be one of Chester V's top scientists, he's definitely bummed. At the same time, Chester V wants to possess Flint's invention that created all of the food on the island, and he has Flint and his friends return to the island under the pretense of finding the invention and shutting it off completely. Flint trusts Chester completely and doesn't realize he's up to no good, until it's too late.

The cast from the first film is back and we've got some fun new additions as well. Kristen Schaal (Hazel from 30 Rock) voices Barb, a chimpanzee who is second-in-command to Chester V (he's put the brain of a human inside an ape brain), and her voice was instantly recognizable to me. There's a tiny strawberry named Barry who is adorable, and he/she instantly latches on to Flint and Sam Sparks. The voice cast in this film contains a lot of A-listers, as well, some of whom aren't entirely recognizable in the film - James Caan as Tim, Flint's dad, for example, and Neil Patrick Harris as Steve (Flint's monkey) as well as Andy Samberg as Brent, who used to be Flint's enemy.

Maybe see this film. I wasn't expecting it to become Ferngully-esque near the end, but events occur that will inevitably draw comparisons to that film. I found the film disappointing as compared to the first one, but the 3D was great and kids will enjoy the bright colors throughout. There were still some humor for adults, as well - in one scene, they're navigating through a butter/syrup swamp, and one of the butter creatures says "Butter" and another says "Parkay!" (a margarine brand), which was amusing. Barry the strawberry steals the show as far as cuteness goes, and when his strawberry "family" is captured near the end, it's very sad. If you have kids, this isn't the worst choice for a matinee, but if you want to save some money I'd recommend staying home and watching the first CWACOMB on DVD, instead, if you're looking for a witty and entertaining movie choice.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG with a runtime of 95 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

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