Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Voices: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte
The Indian Express rating: **
If A sequel takes four years coming, chances are it will be more cloudy than meaty. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 lives true to that fear, with a riot of colours for imagination but nothing in either the story or the dialogue to match up to it.
Food that has become monstrous had already been dealt with in the first part, and so there is little to startle us here — if you are charitable enough to discount the fact that the villain named Chester V (Forte) has a wise-Chinese-guy, Confucius-like air around him, strikes yogic postures and greets people with a Namaste. However he does live inside a striking house shaped like a bulb, with its tungsten filament serving as a transportation network.
That’s a plus, as is Chester V’s sidekick, a delightful purple orangutan with a small pigtail who insists she is an ape and not a monkey and hence superior in the food chain.
However, Cameron’s own version of a naughty strawberry is tiresome, while Flint Lockwood (Hader), his dad (Caan) and his group of friends from earlier only play second fiddle to Chester V in situations that trundle out remarkably monotonously. A cheese web may catch your attention, and a Taco dinosaur is particularly impressive, but the sesame eyes on the burger monster are a stretch. The film, a departure from writer Judi Barrett’s own sequel to Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, leaves few edibles out of its foodimals (food plus animals) list though, from gherkins (picklish) to bananas (bananastriches) and potatoes (hippos) to marshmallows (own cuddly selves).
But solely because of the straightforward way the film is laid out, these sideshows leave little impression. Despite the sea of food on display — food that is waded through, sliced, diced and generally treated disturbingly as floatsam — you may find little to sink your teeth into.