Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

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Dec 25-Jan 25

Dirs Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn Category I, 95 minutes, opens on Wed Dec 25

All is right in the island town of Swallow Falls. Inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has shut down his meal-making monstrosity, known as the FLDSMDFR. The abnormal weather patterns that made meatballs and other foodstuffs rain from the sky are no more. Plus, Flint has been hired by his hero, the vaguely Steve Jobs-ish Chester V (Will Forte), to work at the world-bettering company Live Corp – the opportunity of a lifetime. There’s just one problem, which becomes apparent while Live Corp employees are cleaning up Flint’s home: the FLDSMDFR has taken on a life of its own, turning Swallow Falls and its environs into an ecosystem populated by living cuisine.

It’s only when the sentient snacks are front and centre that this middling sequel to the 2009 animated hit truly comes alive. Pickles stalk the town in search of their own food, mosquitoasts sting, apple-pie-thons slither and there’s a cheespider with french-fry legs that’s sure to make plenty of kids happy in its inevitable plastic toy form. Until then, the young’uns have got a movie heavily reliant on groaner food puns that would work better on the page (‘there’s a leek in my boat’ gets running-gag honours) and slathered in the usual sentimental gibberish about following your instincts, dreams, etc. Not even a reheat could save these leftovers. Keith Uhlich


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