Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Raged G

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is an outsider, a nerd and a would-be inventor. His inventions (including spray-on shoes, a walking television, hair un-balder and ‘rat-birds’) generally end up being disasters that get him into all sorts of trouble and he becomes something of a laughing stock in town.

Flint lives on a tiny little island called Swallow Falls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where the only industry is a sardine canning factory. But when the rest of the world realises that “sardines are super gross”, the factory closes down and the residents of the island have nothing else to eat but sardines.

Flint tries to invent a machine that will turn water into food, but on the day that the mayor (Bruce Campbell) tries to open a theme park called Sardine World and re-brand Swallow Falls as a tourist destination, Flint’s machine gets out of control and ruins everything.

But when the machine starts sucking in clouds and spitting out cheese burgers, it seems that his luck, and that of the town, might be turning.

This movie is based on a 30-page kids book and is full of original characters and ideas. It’s colourful, creative and fun, and as we’ve come to expect, the animation is astounding.

Once the parameters have been established, it settles down into some more conventional themes: a loner who lost his mother needs the love and acceptance of his father, greed will always end in tragedy, and the hero, once redeemed, will get the girl.

As unusual as the premise might sound, this is actually a disaster movie – think The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon or 2012 dressed up in pretty colours for kids.

For a while Flint is able to communicate with his food making machine in the sky and he takes orders from the good folk of Swallow Falls. Policeman Earl Devereaux (Mr T) surprises his son on his birthday with an ice cream wonder world that had both kids and adults in the cinema salivating with delight.

But like the creation of any good cinema mad scientist, the machine mutates. The food gets bigger and bigger until it sends down a spaghetti tornado and threatens to wipe out the entire world.

Flint and TV weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and her cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt) fly into the vortex to save the day. There are plenty of references to classic Sci Fi adventure films with the machine developing its own intelligence and fighting for its own survival.

I enjoyed this film a lot. My seven year old did too, though she found it a bit scary in parts.


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