Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a surprise hit for Sony Pictures Animation and its directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Miller and Lord went on to make 21 Jump Street and are about to unleash their The Lego Movie on the world.
The series, based on the children's books by Judi and Ron Barrett, could not have asked for a better duo to step in and direct the sequel: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. They were heavily involved in the first film, and it was not only a natural progression to have them direct Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, but it is a case of things actually improving on excellence.
For the first film, Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) had created a machine that would produce food falling from the sky that alleviated his island town of Swallow Falls’ ills. Only, there were side effects like spaghetti hurricanes that brought the community within inches of utter destruction. Along the way he enjoyed some romantic sparks with a weather reporter sent to cover the food precipitation, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris).
As the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 trailer shows, both Faris and Hader are back in the sequel. Given that it picks up literally moments after the first film ended, the audience can pick right up where we left off after Lockwood saved his beloved town. As they celebrate the end of the food holocaust, Lockwood and Sparks -- along with the entire town -- are greeted by a visitor, Chester V. Will Forte voices Chester V with a sass that is part Steve Jobs and part Bill Nye the Science Guy. He is there to help in the cleanup with his high-tech corporation running the show.
He just happens to be Lockwood’s scientific hero, so what Chester V says, Lockwood does. The town is evacuated to California (you’ll have to see the movie to get the town’s title… it’s hilarious), including Andy Samberg’s “Baby” Brent, James Caan’s Tim Lockwood (Flint’s dad) and the town’s policeman Earl (Terry Crews replacing Mr. T).
There’s just one problem. When Chester V’s team is overrun by a series of animal-food hybrids, called foodimals, he has no choice but to ask Lockwood back to Swallow Falls to see if he can fix the problem that he started. Of course the gang comes with him and a fresh new take is given to a premise we adored the first time around.
Where the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a tribute to disaster movies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is clearly a nod to monster movies of Pearn and Cameron’s past. There are hints of Jurassic Park and even Aliens layered throughout, which means one thing: Adults will adore the second film as much as the first, and as much as the kids it’s aimed at.
What else is intact, and even amped up a bit, is the caustic and wickedly sharp humor. And some of it is quite pun-rific, like the one teased in the most recent Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 movie trailer. “There’s a leak in the boat,” Lockwood’s father says as everyone screams. and then, the camera cuts to a leek… also screaming. That’s exactly why this series is turning out to be one of the best coming out of animated Hollywood right now. It’s smart. It’s hilarious. It’s timely. And most of all, our Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 review can report: It’s for everyone.