The entire gang is back. Better yet, they never left. Flint Lockwood, Sam Sparks, Officer Earl, and everyone's favorite monkey, Steve, begin another journey into food haven. The story begins with a recap of the first film, which seems a bit unusual. Not ten minutes after the first film ended, the sequel's storyline begins.
It is tough to follow up the creativity and imagination used in the first film because the idea is so bizarre. How can the writers go beyond that? Also, the dialogue was catchy, witty, along with an animation style that played off of the humor. This time around, the same jokes and punch lines have less effect because they've been used before. Unfortunately, as characters are being set up, the story drags along a bit. This is balanced out by the awesome visuals created for the characters to move through.
Everything changes when the team heads "back" home to find and shut down Flint's food making machine. The machine is still running. However, instead of just turning the water into food, the food itself comes alive. Certain sequences clearly allude to Jurassic Park, including a stampede of bananas charging through the forest. The creativity and imagination is brought to a wonderful new level as regular food is morphed to look like wild animals or dinosaurs. The witty jokes also improve, not excluding the "there's a leek in my boat" one-liner.
A small strawberry, whom Sam names "Barry," steals the spotlight. From the small hands and feet to its giant adorable eyes to its cute voice, Barry brings a ton of energy and enthusiasm to the scenes. An unforgettable moment is when Flint unveils his plan to the wildlife a la Avatar while Barry has to interpret what he's saying to the animals. It was priceless.
Ultimately, the bad guy was more annoying than evil, though he was heartless. His master plan was laughable and the holograms he befriended suggests he needs therapy. His sidekick, Barb, was a nice addition to the film. It was also interesting how this ape wore fingernail polish, even on her toes.
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" is a decent film with some very funny moments. Yet, when it misses on a joke, it tends to miss badly. Mr.T did not reprise his voice acting role as Officer Earl. Though he is missed, Terry Crews replaces him without a hiccup. The cute strawberry, if nothing else, makes the movie worth watching.