Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picks up where Sony Pictures Animation's mouth-watering comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention - a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now creating food-animals - 'foodimals!' Flint and his friends embark on a dangerously delicious mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses,cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world - again!
Fun for Everyone
I ended up taking my son to see this film with me, specifically because I wanted to see the reaction from a member of the film’s target audience. Before I get into that, however, I want to talk about this from a parents’ perspective. There are children’s films out there which are fun for kids, but unbearably god-awful for parents to endure. Everyone can think of a few of these (hell, just pick about any of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon adaptations), and it’s a horrible thought.
I’ve spoken often of the fact that movies shouldn’t be dumbed down (or flat-out stupid), just because they’re made “for kids”, and I’ve never found it to be a legitimate excuse for people to waste their money on. There are plenty of films in the world that prove a kids movie can be entertaining and fun for all audiences, and more worth your time than the other drivel out there. Fortunately Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of the better films, that everyone, regardless of age, will be able to enjoy.
It’s got plenty of goofy moments in the film for kids to enjoy, some silly puns, and sight-gags, but it also has plenty of moments that parents can laugh about as well. They aren’t way over the top or anything like that, but are subtle jokes that kids wouldn’t pay attention to, but adults will be cracking up over. Then of course there are plenty of moments where laughter can be shared by all.
In this way, I feel Meatballs 2 is a big success, as any parent can tell you; if a kid likes a movie, you better be prepared to watch it over and over again. That’s not going to be as big an issue with Meatballs 2, as it’s genuinely fun and entertaining to watch. While I wouldn’t say it has the longevity of some of the more classic Disney films do, this film manages to hold it’s own quite well.
A Fantastic Message
One of the things I loved most about this movie was the message behind it. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 features a very powerful and important message that kids will hopefully understand, but parents will be happy to see. The central theme in the film, which is almost constantly reinforced (another point in it’s favor), is that blind hero-worship is never a good thing. Even if you’re in the presence of your idol, it’s important to listen to the reasonable advice of your loved ones, and not make any rash decisions.
Little things happen throughout the film, which really hammers this point home. It impressed me a great deal to see such a strong, meaningful message handled so well within a kids movie. Again, some of the best movies geared towards kids do that, and it’s nice to see Cloudy 2 follow suit. This takes it beyond pure humor and entertainment, making it a film you would actually encourage your kids to watch again and again.
Some Clouds Are About
It’s not a perfect film, however, and despite how good it really is, I’m not sure it’s going to withstand the test of time as those classic Disney animations that I mentioned do. While it has a great message, telling a good story, and is genuinely humorous, it does take some time to gain traction.
The sad part is, I can’t even place my finger on what exactly doesn’t work with the film. Some of the jokes fall flat (especially at the beginning) and on the whole, it seems like they missed some other opportunities. There’s nothing majorly wrong with the film, but there are a couple things that feel like it’s holding it back from being completely great, and able to stand among the top.
A Child’s View
As I mentioned, I took my young son to the film specifically to gauge his reaction on the film and see what the target audience thought about it. There’s no doubt that he loved the film, especially since he hasn’t seemed to stop talking about it since we went. He was laughing right along with everyone else, meaning the film is able to make its jokes simple enough for young kids (he’s almost 5) but not totally dumbed down to where adults would just roll their eyes.
It’s a tricky balance to maintain, but it’s safe to say that if you have a child, they’re going to really enjoy this film. Visually, there’s something happening in every scene that’s sure to have them laughing, and it’s moves at a good enough pace to convey the story without losing their interest.