If you cast your net in the same place twice, you’re bound to come up a little empty the second time around. What? You don’t understand fishing metaphors? Well, let me explain.
Like so many sequels before it, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ has trouble living up to the greatness of its predecessor. The strength of the first film was its off-the-wall oddball humor and delightfully clever gags. The second movie doesn’t quite harness the wacky power of the first. That’s not to say the second movie isn’t funny, but the first movie was much more so.
‘Cloudy 2’ starts approximately eight minutes after the first movie ended. Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) and Sam (Anna Faris) are basking in the warm glow of saving the world from a deadly food storm. Flint’s food-creating machine went wacko in the first movie, creating food-related weather patterns that dropped delicious hamburgers and over-sized steaks on the tiny island of Swallow Falls. Soon, however, the machine’s powers spiraled out of control. Spaghetti twisters, man-eating rotisserie chickens and malevolent Gummy Bears threatened to take over the world. While Flint and Sam celebrate their victory amongst a pile of huge mutated food, a scientist named Chester V (Will Forte) arrives on the scene. Chester V happens to be Flint’s lifelong idol. Flint is starstruck. Chester V invites him to become part of his company, Live Corp. Flint eagerly accepts, but unbeknownst to him, Chester V has some nefarious purposes in mind.
As everyone who’s seen a trailer for ‘Cloudy 2’ knows, this sequel is based around food that has evolved into animals. That’s also what the humor centers on. Instead of the oddball jokes that made the first movie so memorable and rewatchable, this one instead devotes its attention to creating as many food puns as possible. Honestly, food-related animal puns are around 70% of the movie’s humor. Sure, most of them are pretty clever, but they grow old after a while. Some might even say a little, um, stale.
‘Cloudy 2′ is just as colorful and as brightly animated as the first. It won’t have any trouble holding kids’ attention. The attentiveness of adults in the audience might wane, however. The humor just isn’t as clever as last time. The jokes are obvious, and the story about Chester V’s implied evilness takes too long to develop, causing the movie to lag in the middle. Granted, the film doesn’t try to rehash all the old jokes from the first movie, like many sequels of successful movies try to do, but it doesn’t create much of anything new either.
Flint’s dad (James Caan) befriending a tribe of babbling, sardine-loving cucumbers is definitely the movie’s high point. Oh, and the leeks. The leeks are great. Everything else is a little too bland.