Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Bobb'e J. Thompson directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller Movie Review

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell

Flint versus Food

Unlike what seems to be the vast majority of the human population I have never gone wild for modern CGI animations, I don't necessarily think they are bad but I love the old fashioned hand animated cartoons which tend to be about characters and story rather than screaming "looking at how good I look". But after finally watching "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" it is hard to deny what a good job Sony Picture Animation have done in creating not just a visual treat but also an amusingly clever movie which has jokes for young an old alike. It still doesn't match up to the magnificence of the old Walt Disney animations but considering I am not in the target audience for this movie it still managed to entertain.

As a child Flint Lockwood was different, he was into inventing things and whilst his dad never really understood him his mother did. But many years later and after the passing of his mother, his father wants Flint to stop messing around with his gadgets and come to work for him in his fishing tackle shop, especially as the island where they live is in an economic slump due to the closure of the Sardine canning plant. But Flint has one more invention and he is sure it will help the island as he believes with enough power he can turn water into food, food which is much more delicious than sardines. And through an accident his invention works as it shoots into the sky above the town and starts raining down all sorts of wonderful food from ice cream snow to giant steaks. But then things get out of hand when his machine starts spewing out giant destructive food.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell

There are various things which make "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" work and they start with the visual treat which embraces the comedy of everything. The characters all have a touch of comedy about their look be it an in-joke such as a character voiced by Mr. T having a reverse mohican to the various food which rains down from ice-cream to sweets. And these characters are placed against a rich and highly detailed backdrop which at times looks like someone has shot an old town and digitized the image. It simply works with a wonderful mix of gags which will have children in fits but also appeal to adults with just the right amount of adult humour.

There is also the story which for the most is just about fuelling the daftness of the idea with the story of Flint's wonderful machine. But as you would expect it also shoe horns in an important lesson which from an adult's perspective is not in the least bit subtle but works for a younger audience. In truth the lesson it delivers is not as thought provoking as it could be and I doubt children will learn much from it but without it "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" would have felt incomplete.

What this all boils down to is that "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is not just a visually wonderful movie lush in gags for young and old alike but it does work for all ages because of those gags, the writing, the characters and a general sense of just wanting to be fun.