Who wants seconds? – ★★★
It has been 4 years since Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs graced our lives and introduced us to the magical world of Flint Lockwood. Talking monkeys, weather which made it rain food and dancing turkeys all combined to make Cloudy one of the best and most surreal children’s film in years. This second helping takes up almost immediately after where the first course ended.
Chester V is Flint’s idol, a kindred spirit who has invented nutritious food bars as well as a myriad of other useful devices. So when Chester offers Flint a job at his Live Corp Company he jumps at the chance. The whole town must relocate while the cleanup on the island is being carried out by Chester. While never specified, the town they re-locate to is very similar to San Francisco and this can’t be a coincidence with Twitter headquarters located in the city and Facebook and Google all in the Californian state. The Live Corp Company appears to be a very thinly veiled attack on these corporations with Chester acting as an amalgamation of Jobs (R.I.P.), Zuckerberg, Bezos, Page and Brin. It ponders on the notion of taking the best and brightest and merely exploiting them for your own personal gains. It also has a swipe at Starbucks for good measure too.
This is one of the many storylines unfolding within the film and seems to be its undoing. Too much switching from one strand to the next make for a jumpy incohesive tale although giving an insight into what having A.D.D. must be like. We have father son issues, a love story, the notion of home and family, environmental ecology lessons and more besides.
The animators at work within Sony have done a fantastic job making the creatures come alive and it’s not every day you feel empathy for a strawberry. The voice acting is top notch with Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, Andy Samberg and Neil Patrick Harris all combining to make the characters feel like one big family. Terry Crews replaces Mr. T. as Earl Devereaux but this passes unnoticed and we get a very funny Tom Waits joke by an excellent impersonator – or the man himself uncredited.
Packed full of brilliant sight gags, puns galore and witty dialogue Cloudy 2 will be among the best children’s films of the year, if not the best. Without the focused, singular message of the first outing, this feels too packed with ideas damaging the film as a whole. Perhaps the people behind it thought this was their last roll of the dice so crammed everything in. None the less a wholesome meal with plenty for all the family to sink their teeth into.
Released across Ireland on Friday 25th of October