The likeable Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is too damn cute to hate. No joke.
Director Cody Cameron's film about food gone horribly awry is sweet, fun entertainment that doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is. What that is, a movie about food that takes on human attributes, will make you mostly hungry throughout, but will definitely entertain with its cheesiness. Scenes of greasy burgers, sushi, fruits, and deserts perpetuate the environment as scientist Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) attempts to fix his invention which has turned Shadow Falls into a place where food is alive. Almost everyone is back for the sequel, except for Mr. T's police officer Earl Devereaux (voiced by Terry Crews). Lockwood now works for LIVE Corp, an Apple-like business run by Lockwood's idol Chester V (voiced by Will Forte), who wants the boy's invention - called a FLDSMDFR - for his own evil plans. Soon, the two are locked in a struggle to secure it while giant tacos with legs and watermelon elephants chase Lockwood and his friends. Simple as that.
Cloudy is so damn cute and cheesy - with its silly food references - that you can't help but like it. For the parents, it's mostly the adult jokes that will keep you awake, but there's also a father/son storyline and Flint's burgeoning relationship with Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Faris). None of this is Oscar worthy, but the animation is solid and the jokes roll across the screen a Lazy Susan delivering a continuous selection of food. The voice cast - which includes James Caan and Andy Samberg - does a nice job of bouncing off Hader and Forte. Each actor brings a depth to their characters that we never got from duds like Turbo and Planes; granted, this is a sequel and the actors have gotten better with their characters, but the casting is just better here. Writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein weave a zany and fun-filled affair that never takes itself too seriously.
The suggestion that food can talk is ridiculous by definition, and so one automatically has to check the same expectations at the door that one does for The Muppets. Once you do so, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is enjoyable, turn-off-your-brain fun, although your stomach might hate you for sticking it through. It's rated PG for mild rude humor and has a runtime of 95 minutes.
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