Movie Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Movie Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Every now and then I take the whole of my family along to a film preview – there’s got to be some benefit to dad being a reviewer, right? So I can personally as well as professionally vouch for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. It’s been road-tested by the entire Hadley family and, […]

By Mark HadleyWednesday 4 Dec 2013MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Every now and then I take the whole of my family along to a film preview – there’s got to be some benefit to dad being a reviewer, right? So I can personally as well as professionally vouch for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. It’s been road-tested by the entire Hadley family and, more importantly, mum and dad survived the experience.

'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2' proves to be a good film for the whole family

In 2009 the improbably titled Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs introduced us to would-be inventor Flint Lockwood, a square peg in the round hole of Swallow Falls. This idyllic small town was located in the middle of the Atlantic (“just under the ‘A’”) and was completely devoted to sardine fishing and eating. When the bottom fell out of the sardine market Flint saw his chance to prove to everyone that he really was a brilliant inventor, coming up with a machine that converted water into food. However his invention eventually led to disasters of gastronomic proportions. 

The second film picks up just minutes after Flint saves the day with the arrival of his scientific hero Chester V. While the inhabitants of Swallow Falls are quietly evacuated to California, Flint is offered a job at Chester’s Live Corp, the ‘coolest company ever’. However our hero has trouble fitting into the corporate scene until Chester reveals that they’re having trouble cleaning up Flint’s hometown. It seems his destructive invention has survived and is pumping out intelligent life – animal-food hybrids that are roaming a takeaway version of Jurassic Park. But is Chester really interested in solving the problem or reaping the profits?

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of those productions that will keep kids laughing and parents grinning. While your children are appreciating the crazy characters, you might want to take a closer look at Chester V. His gangly form, eastern interests and technological obsessions mark him out as the cartoon equivalent of tech celebrity Steve Jobs. Likewise Live Corp, with its hierarchical structure dominated by the personality of its founder, is a clear send up of Apple. It’s also interesting that a company that has pitched itself as the friend of creatives and inventors everywhere actually turns out to be the bad guy.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 takes a swing at the all too familiar individualism that characterizes most children’s films, celebrating Flint’s dependence rather than his independence. Chester V tries to convince the young inventor that he’ll be much more successful without his inconvenient friends. But Chester’s ultimate downfall actually occurs because he only has himself to rely on. This leads Flint to inform his young audience,

“Someone once told me that I didn’t need friends – that I could accomplish more by myself. I now know that he was wrong. We need as many friends as we can get.”

Not content with affirming community over individuality, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 also takes aim at the type of relationships kids allow to sway them. Weather girl Sam reminds Flint the friends we should pay most attention to are the ones who’ve proven their love by sacrifice:

“We all came here to help you and you’re acting as if we’re in your way.”

In a world where media idols vie for a child’s loyalty, that has to be the sort of lesson a Christian parent would want them to ponder. Who has daily demonstrated their love for you? They’re the ones you can trust. And the lesson extends beyond mum and dad to the God who dealt with our greatest need:

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  


Rating: PG
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Release Date: December 5