Advertisement
  1. Arts & Entertainment

Review: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' tasty but empty calories

Anna Faris and Bill Hader, as weather reporter Sam Sparks and inventor Flint Lockwood, must battle “foodimals” this time around.
Anna Faris and Bill Hader, as weather reporter Sam Sparks and inventor Flint Lockwood, must battle “foodimals” this time around.
Published Sep. 26, 2013

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

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla. [Yacht StarShip]
    After years entertaining tourists in Virginia Beach, the Lost Pearl is settling into its new Tampa Bay home.
  2. Pirate beads reading "Gasparilla" for sale at a store in Tampa in 2006. [Tampa Bay Times]
    Who should own ‘Gasparilla’? Is it the krewe behind the parade? A beauty pageant? Or the people?
  3. Photographer Griff Davis captured the first meeting of Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr. and their wives, Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King, on Independence Day in Accra, Ghana on March 7, 1957. [Courtesy of Griffith J. Davis Photographs & Archives]
    A famed photographer captured Martin Luther King Jr. and Nixon in a conversation that was incendiary at the time.
  4. Brad Paisley performs during the CMA Music Festival at LP Field in 2014 in Nashville.
    Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and Thomas Rhett round out Live Nation’s all-in-one ticket deal.
  5. "Murder Your Darlings" is the latest book by Roy Peter Clark. [Little, Brown]
    The longtime writing coach’s latest is a writing book about writing books.
  6. St. Petersburg restaurant Brick & Mortar serves dishes like this miso-marinated black cod with broth of coconut milk and ginger, baby bok choy, sticky rice and house pickled jalapeno. [Times (2015)]
    It’s called Sea Worthy Fish + Bar.
  7. A Florida panther [CARLTON WARD JR   |  by Carlton Ward Jr / CarltonWard]
    The Times environmental reporter writes a wild comeback story with his latest book. | Review
  8. Don Thompson and Edwin Nelson Jr. are pictured at the 1928 Gasparilla Parade. Thompson was King of Ye Mystic Krewe that year. [Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library]
    Here’s an earful: We kids used to scramble for bullet casings, not beads.
  9. Dave Bautista, shown here at his South Tampa office, has been named grand marshal of the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
    The Guardians of the Galaxy star will lead the Pirate invasion along with Tampa police Lt. Travis Maus, who recently served in the Middle East.
  10. Dishes from some of Tampa Bay's most iconic restaurants. [Times files]
    Join us for a happy hour event on Jan. 30.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement