Posted on 10/25/13 03:21 PM
"Aghhh There's a Leek in the boat".
Having only recently for the first time watched the first 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs' i feel like i can make a comparison different to others. Watching them in relatively quick succession i can see where it's clearly improved and where it might have lacked. before watching the original i was never really interested in watching it - the premise sounded too weird for me and considering Sony's horrid 'Smurfs' movie i feared the worst. But i was pleasantly surprised it was well written, had interesting characters and handled the bizarre concept well. It wasn't without problems but i still had big expectations for the second, so when i finally saw it i was relieved to see it had mostly improve.
The 2nd installment in inventor Flint Lockwood's (Bill Hader) adventure continues more or less where the first left off. And based on that and how well integrated it was i get the feeling a 2nd was always intended to wrap it up. 'Flint' and the inhabitants of 'Swallow Falls' are cleared off so Flint's boy hood hero 'Chester' (Will Forte) and his team can clear the island and everyone "will return before you know it". Naturally the guy has less than pure intentions and seeks to use Flint's FLDSMDFR for himself. But when things go badly 'Chester' gets 'Flint' to find the device he brings 'Sam' (Ann Faris) his Dad (James Caan), 'Earl' (Terry Crews), 'Brent' (Adam Samberg) and 'Manny' (Benjamin Bratt). The story is a step down from the last one. It's a nice idea but the central idea of 'Chester' manipulating 'Flint' isn't always believable and i think it could have been explored better or earlier on. But it takes you through enough of the island and delivers plenty of eye candy. The first might not have been brilliantly story-wise but it was good with no cliches here there are a few but again nothing to really be concerned about.
One thing is sure its much funnier this time around. From the get go i was laughing and its something that's clearly been focused on and part of the reason why i loved it so much. Some may scoff at the puns like "There's a leek in the boat!" but its the animation and design that sells it. These jokes are seen throughout and love them in most other cases i too would scoff they are so well put together and set-up that it works. That's the thing with most of it combining the design, animation and the joke is why the film hits on big laughs time after time. 'Barry' is a wonderful little character that always put a smile on my face when he gets screen time and the pickles as well. In the middle particularly the jokes are relentless and are almost always hitting the mark.
It's packed with the voice talent from the last film 'Hader' brings Flint's erratic personality, 'Faris' still has Sam's enthusiasm and concern for flint and Terry Crew's replacing 'Mr T' as 'Earl' isn't noticeable. The new characters in 'Chester' and the ape 'Barb' played by 'Will Forte' and 'Kristen Schaal' are equally great. There's not really much to say on them other than with the voice talent the film has it's no surprise how well acted it is.
I cannot praise the design enough the food animals are spot on some are fierce some are surprisingly cute and some are just genius - the butter frog was wonderful. There isn't a character or background that is great. 'Chester' the oddly bendy scientist is always moving and bendy. The pickles quick crazy movements, stupidity and eagerness are so well represented making the boat scene just a comic sight to be hold. Some uninformed people may say these designs are easy and simple but that's what makes them so good they look simple but a line out of place and you change everything. All this is why i can overlook the story sure its a bit simple but its paced well enough and provides a great vehicle for some well placed jokes and beautiful scenery.
'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2' is excellent surprisingly hits the same comedic heights as this years earlier 'Monsters University'. It makes perfect use of all its strengths making what would usually be a bland pun into a hilarious couple of seconds. The boat scene and Flint's speech in particular show the comedy chops this film has. Even with a slightly disappointing story this is easily one of the best animated films of the year. The food animals are expertly designed and masterfully animated. IF you have kids and can't decide between this and 'Turbo' go with this is leagues ahead.