'Cloudy 2' -- gorgeous visuals, cheesy puns.

AuthorNoveck, Jocelyn
PositionLiving - Movie review

Byline: Jocelyn Noveck

The FLDSMDFR lives!

It's not too much of a spoiler to tell you that, because without the FLDSMDFR, more precisely known as the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, there would hardly be reason for a sequel to the sweet and entertaining 2009 family film, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.''

And if "Cloudy 2,'' which ups the zany quotient in the continued adventures of Flint and his food-producing FLDSMDFR (we just love the name, so we'll keep saying it) lacks the heart and fresh feel of the original, it almost makes up for it in gorgeous, color-popping visuals and in its most important new creation: the Foodimals.

Like we said, almost.

But first, what are Foodimals? Your kids probably know already, and pretty soon, they're gonna be asking for their Foodimals multivitamins. So you'd better educate yourself.

Watermelephants. Bananostriches. Shrimpanzees. Tacodiles. Cheesepiders.

Yes, the remnants of FLDSMDFR's food storm have turned into living things.

To recap, at the end of the last movie, Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) had saved the world by heroically deactivating his over-performing FLDSMDFR, with the help of his brainy friend and sort-of love interest, Sam (Anna Faris), and others including "Baby'' Brent (Andy Samberg), loyal monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), and Flint's dad Tim (James Caan).

The sequel, directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, begins precisely eight minutes later, with Flint's Swallow Falls facing a huge cleanup job from that giant storm created by, yup, the FLDSMDFR. Or, in one of the first of the movie's many, many puns: a disaster "of epic portions.''

Here we have no devious mayor, but a new villain: Chester V, the head of Live Corp., clearly modeled after Steve Jobs and Apple (small kids won't get this, but I sat next to a 10-year-old who did).

Chester (Will Forte) whisks Flint and his friends up to Live Corp. HQ, where aspiring inventors compete to win Chester's favor. This HQ, which could be Google-inspired as much as Apple, has free caffeine stations (caffeine patches, too), which serve up things like "quinoa lattes,'' for an easy grownup laugh.

Flint thinks Chester wants his knowhow, but all...

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