There’s a leek in my boat!
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 was on my highly-anticipated list for some time, along with recently-released Monsters University and Despicable Me 2.
I’m happy to report that it was the best of the lot.
The plot was relatively strong, especially for a sequel with as idiosyncratic a story as the first, in which inventor Flint Lockwood created a machine that caused “food rain” to destroy his home-town, turning it into a deserted food-jungle.
This time round he thinks his machine was destroyed as the clean-up effort starts, but in fact it’s survived and somehow morphed into a generator of Foodimals – including tacodiles, shrimpanzees and the particularly menacing cheespiders – and it’s up to Flint and his friends to destroy the machine once and for all before the creatures learn to swim and take over the world.
Like the first, the film is visually stunning, a riot of colour throughout.
Like the first, it is creative, and there are definite overtones of Jurassic Park that any 80s baby will love.
Characters move with a breakneck speed and fluidity that gives the script and the spectacle tremendous energy and heart, as do the voice actors, who include Bill Hader as Flint, Anna Faris as Sam, Kristen Schaal as Barb and Neil Patrick Harris as Flint’s trusty monkey Steve.
Flint is the ideal hero – as evil nemesis Chester V says, he’s smart, but naïve. He has a good heart but must fight to overcome his own flaws, which include a knack for destroying, well, everything. He must learn valuable lessons about trust and friendship and loyalty, crap like that, so it’s good for kids.
And most importantly, it’s good for big kids. As well as the numerous Jurassic Park references, there was plenty of clever wordplay for the nerd on my left (the Ministry) and lots of adorable Foodimal action for my soft-touch friend on the right (Little Nat).
We laughed probably more than the little kids in the audience – not sure what that means – and stayed glued to the screen throughout all the credits, which is always a good sign.
Just make sure you’ve got a good meal to look forward to after you see this, because you’ll be damn hungry when you get out of that cinema.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens December 5.