Courtesy: Sony Pictures Animation
Everyone knows the old adage that a movie’s sequel is never as good as the original. Everyone also knows the old adage that one should never say never. That’s because there are exceptions to the rule. Sony Pictures’ Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of those exceptions to the rule. While it might not have been a necessary sequel, it is still a fun movie for the whole family. The movie picks up right where its forerunner left off, even going so far as to highlight the events of that movie in the outset of this story. The writing team of Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Erica Rivinoja are to be applauded for this. It’s not all for which they are worthy of applause, either. The trio has crafted in this story that while predictable, also has its own share of heart and humor. The mediations on friendship and environmentalism make the story even more entertaining. For all the work put in by the script’s writing team, viewers can’t ignore the work put into bringing the “Lost World” style environment to life. This element makes the movie even richer. It is especially the case for those with an interest in computer graphics. When they take all of this into consideration, audiences of all ages will find that Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of the surprisingly rare worthwhile sequels churned out by Hollywood’s major studios in 2013.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 seems on the surface to be an unnecessary and even unbelievable story. Much like its precursor, this movie has no link whatsoever to the book on which it was lifted. Rather, it is more akin to Jurassic Park than the book on which it is based. But once audiences allow themselves to get past this factor, they will find that it has real entertainment value. The script picks up right where the previous movie left off. It even catches up audiences that have yet to have seen said movie. This isn’t something that’s commonly seen among the masses of sequels that currently jam theaters. To that extent, the story’s writers deserve a certain amount of credit. They are also deserving of credit for the fact that despite their script being predictable, it also bears its own share of heart and humor. The central message in this script is one of friendship and its importance. Lord and company make the statement that friends are some of the most important people that anyone can have. This couldn’t be truer. Any parent will appreciate that this message was included in the script.
The message of friendship made for plenty of heart throughout the roughly ninety-five minute run time of Cloudy 2. That heart is something that viewers of any age will appreciate. It’s just part of the whole presentation, though. There is just as much of a comic element to the movie as there is heart. The comedy comes in the form of countless pop culture references and jokes. Younger audiences won’t catch all of the jokes included in the script. But parents definitely will. And they will be surprised to find themselves laughing at those jokes. One could go so far as to argue that the “Live” company and its founder are a spoof of Apple. That argument could be made considering Apple’s reputation. Set against the “Live” Company and its loyal legions, the similarities are too obvious to ignore. Regardless of whether or not a given viewer is an Apple loyalist, any viewer that recognizes this similarity will appreciate the jab at the company.
The mix of heart and humor does so much to make Cloudy 2 fun for the entire family. There is one more aspect of the movie that as subtle as it is, is just as important to note in its success. That aspect is the movie’s Jurassic Park style world. The world crafted by those behind the movie is absolutely stunning. Yes, the movie as a whole is just another crafted via CG rather than by hand. This critic will never dismiss that argument. However, one can’t ignore the detail and depth given to Swallow Falls. The world crafted for this movie is so lush and rich in color and style. It actually stands out in its own way against so many other CG features. This is exemplified by all of the jungle scenes and the inner workings of the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Yes, Lord and his co-writers went there. That’s just one of so many of the pop culture references that only parents will get and appreciate. The colors and detail of the rock candy crystals and walls inside the mountain were so precise and bright. The same can be said of the onion/brontosaurs type creatures. It’s obvious in their case that their scenes were modeled precisely after the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. They moved and acted just like the dinosaurs in question. There is so much more that could be noted. But it would be a disservice to audiences to ramble on about all of it here. Audiences will appreciate what they find when they check out this rare worthwhile sequel for themselves. It is in theaters now. More information on Cloudy 2 and other Sony Pictures releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SonyPictures, http://www.facebook.com/SONYPicturesAnimation, http://www.sonypictures.com, http://www.sonypicturesanimation.com, http://twitter.com/#!/sonyanimation, and http://twitter.com/sonypictures.
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