Film Review: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
Cute marshmallows, monstrous spider burgers and mischievous pickles…Sony Pictures Animation is back with the most awaited sequel of 2013: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Following the critical and commercial success of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), Cloudy 2 is a loosely written sequel that hits off from where it left in the first film. It’s set to be the biggest adventure yet for Flint and his friends (and Cloudy fans as well) — promising more food, colour, action, and laughs … but was it a Steve-‘BANANAS!’ success? CtrlGeekGirl finds out!
Thanks to the destruction left behind by Flint’s disastrous FLDSMDFR machine, Swallow Falls is no longer a place where residents can live. With the island now swamped with mutated food creatures that has the potential to endanger the world, Chester V and his company ‘LIVE Corp’ decides to relocate residents to another city. Since our beloved Flint Lockwood knows the terrain of Swallow Falls – and is after all, the creator of the FLDSMDFR machine – Flint has been tasked by Chester V to clean up the doomed jungle of Swallow Falls.
Flint and his dad, along with his friends, embark on a journey back to their hometown, but tension begins to rise as their bonded alliance begins to waver. Flint becomes too invested in trying to impress Chester V and turns a blind eye on his friends’ uneasiness, and the evolving world around him. Will Flint and his friends ever get back on track?
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a vibrantly scrumptious-looking film that will awe and entertain the audience until the end. Bursting with zesty ‘foodimals’ such as supreme tacodiles, wild scallions, flamangoes and watermelophants, the team behind Cloudy 2’s art direction has done an incredible job at maintaining the art direction from the first Cloudy movie.
But behind the surface of the extravagant Swallow Falls, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 lacks flavour and oomph. Cloudy 2 served up animation that isn’t as creatively inventive and experimental with its cinematography like the first film. Fans were also expecting action-packed adventure but action scenes were surprisingly limited, and the animation was quite average in comparison to its predecessor.
While the comedic direction of using excessive puns will delight the audience, it feels like the screenwriters were trying too hard with Cloudy’s comedy in this sequel. Cloudy 2 focused too much on the design and names of the hybrid ‘foodimals’, and because of this goal, the film is children-friendly yet childishly creative in the hopes of attracting kids’ attention. If we look past the film’s oriented focus on puns, there is no genuine comedic element to the story at all.
To our utmost disappointment, Cloudy 2 separated ways from its classical witty charm and quirky personality. Flint Lockwood is THE essential ingredient when forming any Cloudy movie recipe, and the lack of quirkiness in the sequel stems from the lack of spotlight on Flint’s character and his role in the story. After three years of waiting, the audience couldn’t wait to see what crazy shenanigans Flint had in store for us in the sequel, but unfortunately, Flint was reduced to a backseat character who shied away from the cameras.
We wanted to see something grande from Flint — let it be his crazy scientist persona or his crazy inventions. And while Flint’s ‘celebration’ invention was a one-off scream to remind the audience of his eccentricity, it was frustrating to see our beloved hero completely out of his comfort zone in this film. Cloudy 2’s average screenplay wasn’t helpful either as it spent most of its time relaying mixed messages to the audience.
However, out of nowhere comes the darkhorse hero of the film … ‘Barry the strawberry’. With his bright, puppy-like eyes and overload of sugar cuteness, the audience can’t help but fall in love with him as Barry made the film alive and quite engaging. It’s a shame because the audience wanted Flint to shine on the foreground, not as a subordinate character. Flint’s Dad also makes a surprising presence in the film as we get to see him more involved with Flint’s life, and getting friendly with his chum-eating pickle friends.
Overall: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 had a promising recipe for the perfect sequel. There was definitely a good mixture of colourful, flavoursome ingredients but when it comes down to it, Cloudy 2 ended up being a disastrous meal that certainly didn’t satisfy our lustful appetite.
As fans who absolutely loved the first film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 failed to maintain its original quirkiness; explore Flint’s eccentricity; and execute a succinct, inspiring story surrounding Flint and his friends’ adventure. Cloudy 2, however, is still a decent sequel released by Sony Animation. If it weren’t for the punny-comedy and its king-kong, action-packed battle between Flint and Chester V, the response towards Cloudy 2 could have been worse. But luckily, the franchise has very loyal fans that will see any Cloudy film no matter what — we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a third Cloudy movie released in the near future.
And if you’re wanting a catchy tune to fill your head with Cloudy happiness, check out the official theme song for the film, featuring Cody Simpson!
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