Friday, January 16, 2015

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Note:  This is a review of a sequel.  I’m going to give away some details of the first movie.  If you don’t like spoilers, be warned.

Some movies are harder to get people to watch than others.  Movies based on other media, especially books, can be hit and miss.  Sequels are also hit and miss, depending on how it was planned.  Also, not everyone goes for animated movies.  When Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came out, I noted that the style wasn’t quite what I was used to with CGI.  The sequel is in the same exaggerated style, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on the audience.

In the first movie, Flint Lockwood had invented a machine that makes food from water.  This sounds great.  You have limitless food.  The downside is that it became harder to control.  The entire island of Swallow Falls is covered in food.  It requires the deactivation of Flint’s machine, the FLDSMDFR.

The sequel picks up not long after the events of the first movie.  Chester V, CEO of Live Corp, gets the job of cleaning up Swallow Falls.  He does this because he knows that Flint’s machine survived and is still working.  If Chester can get his hands on it, it could make him rich.  The only problem is that the FLDSMDFR has a mind of its own and is capable of fending off Chester’s people.

Chester’s last and only home?  Send in Flint on a super-secret mission to retrieve the machine.  This, of course, leads to the characters from the first movie finding out and going along to help.  Flint’s hesitant to risk the lives of his friends.  The way Chester tells it, there are all manner of dangerous creatures living on the island.

On the island, the group finds many of these animals, like a strawberry with arms, legs and a face.  Flint is initially terrified, as he’s the only one aware of the potential danger.  However, it becomes clear that the strawberry poses no threat.  Most of the other hybrids seem to be innocuous, as well.  Shrimpanzees, from shrimp and chimpanzees, seem to be ok.

When Chester discovers that Flint brought friends, Chester goes to the island with his orangutan assistant, Barb.  Chester saves them from a cheeseburger spider.  It eventually becomes evident to everyone in Flint’s party, with the exception of Flint, that Chester is manipulating Flint.

Despite the exaggerated animation, this isn’t a movie exclusively for children.  Yes, it’s one of those animated movies that has a few references for adults.  It kind of puts me in an odd position for recommending the movie.  The overall style of the movie seems to be geared towards small children.  It’s goofy and you get lots of puns, like repeatedly finding a leek.  (There’s a leek in the boat!)  It’s also predictable, like you might expect from a children’s movie.

There are also some more adult themes, like Chester, the evil CEO of an Apple-like company.  I don’t recall anything that would overtly offend younger viewers, but I wasn’t really watching it with that in mind.  (I don’t have kids, so I do really think it terms of what a kid should watch.)  Yes, there are a few dangerous situations.  The cheeseburger spiders can be scary.  However, I think the worst thing that a parent would have to sit through is all of the puns and food-related portmanteaus.

If you’ve seen the first movie and liked it, there shouldn’t be any surprises here.  The movie comes off as a continuation of the first movie without recycling too much of the original movie.  I’m a fan of animated movies, but I think most of the replay value will be for kids, though.

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