Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG) (95 min.) — A second helping of sugar rush cinema, wholly dependent upon food puns and pretty colors whizzing by. But it's the only chance for small children to drag parents to the movies until November, so knock yourself out, kiddies.
This time, inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is living down consequences of the food storm he created in Part 1, when spaghetti tornadoes and doughnut blizzards leveled the town of Chewandswallow. Coming up with a better invention — Flint has lots of ideas — would impress weather reporter Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and his father (James Caan).
The best place for ideas to germinate is at the think tank operated by Flint's idol, Chester V (Will Forte), a Jobsian mogul with ulterior motives. It seems the machine Flint invented to turn water into food is still operational, and creating "foodimals," food-and-wildlife hybrids like tacodiles, shrimpanzees and talking pickles that are essentially green Minions since Despicable Me made money.
Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn keep the action frantic and vittles jokes zippy, so there's less time to consider their empty creative calories. The movie operates like the Celebratinator invention, almost getting Flint booted out of Chester V's academy, belching primary color paint and sprinkles everywhere and calling it a party. B -
Steve Persall, Times movie critic