Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 8, 2013

‘Meatballs 2’ works best as 2013 animated sequel

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — As a way to provide a deeper meaning or justification as to why I love animated movies so much, I’ve always found them the perfect excuse to stick it to the people who think there’s some unwritten requirement to grow up. Cartoons remind me that being mature all the time and a grown up sucks and it’s the best way to allow me to escape into a world away from one regulated by leadership with a stick up their backside.

Though it appeared at first another shameless attempt to create a franchise from a perfectly good standalone story, what today’s subject instead proved was that it was actually a bit more capable than other stories this year that were supposed to be full of endless expansions. It seems to achieve that basic notion of simply delivering what was advertised, even if it was an endlessly goofy decent into nanny nanny booboo and deliciously devious puns. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” picked up where the fantastic wonder of the first tale left off and grew into a chapter that’s earned a spot among the most entertaining of the year so far.

Set some time after the foodpocalypse pretty much wiped out the island of ChewandSwallow, the only thing for residents like Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) to do is start the cleanup efforts. To make this task not seem so monumental, a brilliant scientist and owner of Live Corp named Chester V (Will Forte) arrives and announces the citizens will be relocated while he does all the dirty work.

Flint meanwhile spends the next six months trying to impress Chester, who also turns out to be his childhood hero, while working at Live Corp with the rest of the original gang from his girlfriend Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) to Officer Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews) taking various jobs to keep themselves busy. However, their temporary lives are again thrown into disarray when Chester approaches Flint with a mission to stop the device responsible for their predicament, the FLDSMDFR, which has apparently gone rouge by creating entire species of food based animals. In a classic you may not know who your enemy is after all scenario, it’s up to Flint and his pals to once again save the day, even if it means having to put up with his dad, Tim Lockwood’s, (James Caan) fishing metaphors.

Despite being not at all secretive or astoundingly new, the plot is still one audiences of all ages should get pulled into, be one a fan of a crazy monkey named Steve or needing just enough sappy relationship builders to get you through until the next Tim Burton movie. No matter how corny it became, I was able to keep laughing all the way through and would not hesitate seeing it again given the opportunity.

 In the end, this animated sequel places itself above other options like “Despicable Me 2” and perhaps even “Smurfs 2” not necessarily because it had the strongest story, but because it actually felt complete. Dare I say, it was so enjoyable, you might even want another helping should the story even have anything left to squeeze out in the future. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” might not take home the top prize, but it’s certainly one I’d place in the group for best animated feature and thus earns four out of five meals.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.