CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 (G) 95 mins
Often I have found a brief nap during the middle of a children's movie heightens your appreciation.
It strips out some of the cuddly fluff in the middle for you, and you can awake refreshed, ready to look somewhat more benevolently on what remains. Cloudy 2, however, had the capacity to send me much more swiftly to sleep than is usual, and I came round to a deranged, chaotic and confusing world.
The original, well-received Cloudy movie, some four years ago, imagined a world in which a weather-making machine rained down food. For those who missed the initial instalment, Cloudy 2 offers a helpful snap recap, then sails on directly in time into a short-on-originality plot about the now-discarded machine growing a subterranean ecosystem of charming living food (hamburger spiders, sub sandwich whales and so forth) which comes under threat from an evil inventor.
We've become spoilt by modern, hyper-real animations, so Cloudy 2's cartoonish primary colours seemed a retrograde step, especially in fleshing out the rather thin and often unsympathetic characters of its main human protagonists.
What it did best, redeeming the film somewhat, was the food: prepare to be charmed by a pidgin-speaking strawberry and groan at some so-bad-they're-good food puns.
- © Fairfax NZ News