Movie: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

September 23, 2009

by Amy Olita

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” depicts every dream or nightmare you could ever have about food: waking up to an ice cream snowfall, a Jell-o mansion, complete with a Jell-o swimming pool, a spaghetti twister, a food avalanche, a school getting crushed by a giant pancake, going into a junk food coma or just getting so fat you have to have one of those little electric scooters to move.

Loosely based on the children’s book written and illustrated by Judi and Ron Barrett, this movie is a typical kiwis comedy with some underlying adult humor.

The story begins with young, nerdy inventor Flint Lockwood, voiced by Bill Hader, who lives on a small island called Swallow Falls in the Atlantic Ocean that used to be known for its sardine production.

After many failed inventions, including spray-on shoes and rat-birds, Flint develops a machine that converts water into food, but when too much power rockets the machine into the clouds, cheeseburgers rain from the sky.

Quirky weather intern Sam Sparks, voiced by Anna Faris, is elated by this new weather phenomenon, and Swallow Falls soon gains popularity as a hit vacation destination, which couldn’t make the power-hungry Mayor Shelbourne, voiced by Bruce Campbell, happier.

However, too much of a good thing is always bad, and soon the machine begins genetically altering the food, making it bigger and bigger, leading to great visual effects and a need for our inventor to save the day with the help of an overzealous cop, voiced by Mr. T; his technophobic father, voiced by James Cann; his talking monkey, Steve, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and a Guatemalan cameraman, voiced by Benjamin Bratt, who also happens to be a doctor and a pilot.

While this movie is funny and visually stunning, the underlying messages are a little much. From beginning to end the audience is continually being taught some kind of lesson.

While the messages portrayed in this film are good to depict to children, things like being true to yourself and staying away from junk food, it seemed a little pushed in this extremely visual and dialogue driven film.

The visuals are amazing, but this is obviously a movie meant to be seen in 3-D. The giant hot dogs falling from the sky would have been much more intimidating if it seemed like they were falling on you.