Star Rating:

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Directors: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

Actors: Kristen Schaal, Andy Samberg, Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt, James Caan, Bill Hader

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Animation

Picking up exactly eight minutes after Flint Lockwood (Hader) saves his island home, and the world, from the food avalanche, the young inventor gets his dream job: his idol Chester V (Forte), an Apple/Google type inventor, needs Flint to return to Swallow Falls, currently undergoing a clean-up of leftovers, to retrieve Flint's FLDSMDFR, the food -making thingamajig that caused all the problems first time around. But when Flint arrives on the island he finds that the food has evolved into living things with their own eco system... and they're hungry.

So what we have here is the bizarre idea of the first Cloudy pasted onto the plot of Jurassic Park: The Lost World. And it works, if you're willing to forgive some internal logic quibbles. Not that the plot is important - Flint has to get the thing because of the other thing - as the manic energy doesn't give anyone any time to ask any dumb questions.

From the get-go directors Cameron and Peam (Peam graduating from the first instalment's head of story) fire all and sundry at the screen, giving the senses a work out. Vibrant colours abound and there's always something moving or hopping about in the background; one early scene has a plot-important set up but the eye is drawn to Steve (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris for no reason whatsoever) who is struggling to extinguish a trick candle.

This manic energy can be its undoing at times with the story willing to bring ideas up but is then distracted by something else. Like why is Chester V pushing coffee on his employees? Why is the father/son relationship present again when it was sorted last time out? Why is Flint burdened with parental responsibility when a talking strawberry takes a liking to him? And why isn't the romance (with Anna Faris' meteorologist) given any time to flourish?

Sometimes it feels like the whole idea was dreamed up to squeeze in as bad puns about food but even the cheesiest ones - 'This is a piece of cake,' 'This is no picnic,' 'There's a leek in the boat,' etc. - put a silly smile on your face. It's daft stuff but the rollicking pace keeps things cooking. Sorry.