Film Review: ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ Wins with Foodimals, Overemphasizes Humans

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CHICAGO – I was paying attention to the movie. Correction: I was mostly paying attention to the movie. It was challenging to ignore my angry, empty stomach and fully enjoy the food coma that is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and eat first.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

To justify a sequel, a mostly new filmmaking team converted inanimate food that rained from the sky to living, breathing and speaking “foodimals”.

The star of the foodimals? Barry the strawberry, who turns out to be the star of the film. Like his fellow foodimals, Barry is an ambulatory chunk of food spawned from an invention that goes by the mumbled name “FLDSMDFR”. In the sequel, the FLDSMDFR has been popping out food on the island of Swallow Falls since the first film.

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Kid Critic Rating: 3.5/5.0

GOOD: The foodimals were so cute and I can’t stop saying “enwoo”!
BAD: I wanted to see less fight scenes and more about the personalities of the foodimals.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed the first film, still wrote the story in the sequel. But in “Cloudy 2,” first-time directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn took the helm with a screenplay by John Francis Daley (“Horrible Bosses”) and Jonathan M. Goldstein (“Horrible Bosses”).

While we’re led to believe the foodimals need to be exterminated, they’re just living out their lives and trying to survive against a mad scientist who wants to exploit them and achieve global domination (as all mad scientists do).

This team had the right idea with Barry, who is initially obsessed with the word “enwoo!” for no apparent understanding. Funny, adorable and always stealing the screen’s spotlight, Barry is voiced by none other than the film’s co-director Cody Cameron (who even doubles as Dill Pickle).

We got to know the human characters. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is a wide-eyed, budding scientist with a good heart and a bad role model. Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) is his friend and love interest. Chester V (Will Forte) is the bad, mad scientist Flint aspires to impress. Terry Crews is the funny Earl Devereaux: the town’s athletic cop who’s obsessed with his kid trying to grow chest hair.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” stars Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt, Terry Crews, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Samberg, Kristen Schaal, Will Forte and James Caan from co-directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. The film is written by Judi Barrett (characters), Ron Barrett (characters), John Francis Daley (screenplay), Jonathan M. Goldstein (screenplay), Erica Rivinoja (story and screenplay), Phil Lord (story) and Chris Miller (story). The film is rated “PG” for mild rude humor, has a running time of 95 minutes and opened on Sept. 27, 2013.

StarContinue reading for Adam Fendelman’s full “Cloudy 2” review.

Anna Faris and Bill Hader in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Sam (Anna Faris) holds Barry for Flint (Bill Hader) in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”.
Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation

StarContinue reading for Adam Fendelman’s full “Cloudy 2” review.

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