Shrimpanzees. Susheep. Bananastritches. Tacodiles. On the island overrun with animal/prepared-food hybrids from the first Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, these are the kinds of colorful, sometimes aggressive creatures still roaming uninhibited. The animated sequel picks up where the original left off, with Swallow Falls and surrounding areas in need of a major cleanup.
Heading that task is Live Corp, a Silicon-Valley-type tech company based in San FranJose, which is also where the residents of Swallow Falls are temporarily relocated. There are sly swipes at fast food chains — the burgers with French fry legs that resemble a famous set of golden arches — and feel-good workplace culture: Live Corp keeps its eager-to-please employees hopped-up on gourmet coffee. Its leader, Chester V. (a delightfully smarmy Will Forte), has an uncomfortably perfect white goatee he frequently traces with precision and is fond of an insincere “namaste” greeting. Workers around the corporate campus are encouraged by creepy, computer-manipulated images of Chester that ask with droning repetition, “Can your idea change the world?”
Turns out Chester’s motives for cleaning up Swallow Falls aren’t what he initially makes them out to be. But teams of Live Corp staff can’t overcome the food-making machine — which keeps producing all manner of creatures. Once again, it’s up to Flint (Bill Hader), Sam (Anna Faris) and the rest of their friends to establish harmony and stop Chester’s plans.
Most of the humor is borne of a spirit of silliness, bad puns and random weirdness — as when policeman Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews) wills his beard to grow back and orders a teardrop to return to its duct. Or when Flint’s dad Tim (James Caan) teaches a group of sardine-loving pickles how to fish. Moments like these are when Cloudy is at its most entertaining. As is pretty much any scene that features the excitable monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris). Love that monkey.