I might be picky with my animated films. Okay, I loved loved loved the first “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” For me, it was right up there with “Wreck it Ralph” and “Wall-E”.
I first noticed it when it was playing in the background and actually found myself chuckling. So I stopped and then I started paying attention. Then I rewound it and found more to laugh at.
The original had witty writing, subtle jokes and loads of heart. The trailer for the sequel looked promising….
**** Spoilers ahead*****
The trailer was in all honesty, the best parts of the entire movie. In the same way that “Community” was somehow just less funny without Dan Harmon, this movie is obviously missing Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street). Mr. T had it right when he turned this one down!
Visually, it was stunning and there were some cute characters but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to save the movie.
The movie begins with a rehash of the entire last movie and then enters a never before seen flashback, incorporating a new hero of child Flint who as far as it seemed never practiced science but peddled food products. (Screw you, Tesla!)
After this introduction to a new “very important” character, the movie proceeds to negate the entire last movie’s ending (where he starts a business with his father) but instead picking up just minutes after the last movie ended. He is busy kissing Sam and making plans with all his new BFF’s.
The new very important character shows up to give him an alternative life plan (I’m still not sure how the ending of the last movie fits in) and all his new BFF’s wholeheartedly endorse anything Flint wants to do because he is no longer awkward but awesome and their hero and they will follow him… follow him wherever he may go…
SIX MONTHS LATER…..
Well, nothing funny has happened yet. In fact I haven’t even cracked a smile once and on top of that I was curious if I was in fact missing some strange in-joke involving over caffeinated hive workers. If I did, it didn’t matter because the joke just disappeared moments later.
Flint works hard for something he really really wants… we don’t really see this, outside of little montages that are similar to ones we saw in the first movie. Instead, he ends up being laughed at by his entire company reminiscent of when he was young. (they show this at the beginning in case anyone forgot). He complains he was “humiliated” but I couldn’t see what was so bad about what happened? Suddenly, he came across as whiny, which is awful considering how charming his awkwardness was handled in the first movie.
From here on, I can’t understand anything else he does. He takes a job to go back and get the same machine that caused the problems before. He makes promises he immediately breaks, berates his father for no other reason than because “it’s dangerous! stay here! GOD DAD! you never let me do anything!!” stomp stomp slams door
Meanwhile, we finally get to the meat of the story, which is handled beautifully when it comes to visuals. On the other hand, there are a lot of jokes that are meant to pander to the adults, I’m guessing in the mid to late 3o’s range. (Butter? Parkay… it wasn’t even funny the first time!)
Flint’s naivety is played up in full force as he must choose between his childhood hero and his new BFF’s… including a new girlfriend?? Except after the kiss at the beginning, this isn’t addressed again until the ending credits. (it’s okay, they were kissing then too)
In the midst of this is an introduction to loads of sentient food and they conveniently manage to name them on the spot just for the viewer. Watermelephants, Bananostriches (that sound like dolphins), Shrimpanzees. Meanwhile, all the jokes during this time boil down to food related puns.
There is even a sequence where, no lie, a food/animal hybrid is translating and sounds exactly like Eric Cartman when he is whining.
Ugh, and musical sequences… wait, did I say musical sequences… yep. Including 2Unlimited’s Get Ready for This… Will.I Am and Britney Spears… ugh ugh ugh.
Needless to say, I spent a lot of time during this movie making grumpy cat faces and being utterly confused as to what was going on.
It’s really a shame, since the writing was what captivated so many in the first film. It was surprising, charming and just a little bit quirky enough to take it to another level. This one, well, it was just there to bring in cash from the people who loved the first one and play out as a vehicle for families to go see together. It never gets past being mediocre and at times is just out right boring.
Which made me sad.