Feature

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

A food-copying machine goes haywire—again.

Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn(PG)

**

This sequel to a minor 2009 hit proves to be “a modest, quick-witted charmer,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. At a time when other animated features traffic mostly in “sarcasm-based meanness” and thundering action sequences, it’s nice to come across a movie firmly committed to inventive imagery and silly gags. But give me the original any day, said Sean O’Connell in The Washington Post. “Instead of upping the ante, Cloudy 2 merely gets the band back together,” asking us to care about an inventor’s second attempt to rein in his food replicator, a device that’s now spitting out food-animal hybrids like tacodiles and mosquitoasts. The story “delivers about as much pizzazz as reheated leftovers.” But “perhaps the only question that matters” is whether parents will care that their kids are giggling through a movie with an “undercooked” plot, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. That’s not likely, especially when the animation is dazzling viewers of all ages. “The detail is so rich that you wish some of the frames would freeze so you could have more time for savoring.”

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