Saturday, 1 September 2012

Mini-Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

There’s a kind of an ongoing battle in animated films right now, it’s Pixar versus everything else. ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ is firmly on the side of everything else but will it be able to change the tide of the battle and pull one over on the guys at Pixar?

In the town of Swallow Falls, a town famous for its sardine fishing and exports, a young man named Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has always wanted to be an inventor, ever since he was a little boy Flint has always dreamt up solutions to the problems facing his fellow citizens. Despite his desire to aid people, Flint was often laughed at due to his malfunctioning inventions and was forced to abandon his dream of becoming a full-time inventor in order to help his father run his fishing bait shop. When the sole export of Swallow Falls, sardines, becomes unwanted by the world, the town’s inhabitants are left with the remaining fish to eat as their primary source of food. Sensing a solution to the issue, Flint creates a device that could save his town from distasteful food by turning water into food of any choice. However Flint soon learns the consequences of getting too much of a good thing as the town overindulges on its newfound miracle.

The film possesses a very imaginative story filled with lots of diverse and interesting characters and through embracing its fantastical storyline the film actually serves to hit closer to home with its plot than the otherworldly adventures present in most other animated movies.

The movie has a really great cast including comedic experts such as Bill Hader and Andy Samberg as well as the iconic Bruce Campbell and the legendary James Caan. A slightly unusual addition to the cast was Mr. T who plays the role of the town cop Earl, it’s difficult to know if it’s Mr. T acting or Mr. T playing Mr. T (I’m also quite certain that the two are the same thing) nevertheless he fits well into the cast of the film, each of whom impress in their respective roles.

Thanks to it's very talented cast and the witty moments present in the script ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ is definitely funny, however it isn't what could be considered to be laugh out loud funny. Some of the animation in the film is beautifully realised but other aspects of it such as that of the characters is thoroughly unimpressive and does not compare to that of character animations from Pixar.

The allegory for mass consumption present in the film is not a subtle one and it often gets preachy to a degree that the film could be considered quite passive aggressive to its audience.

For 90 minutes this movie will entertain you but sadly I don’t see why I would ever revisit it because when put plainly, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ just doesn’t match up to Pixar’s genius.

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