Jennifer's Body; The Informant!; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Beef: It's what's flying at the screen
by Ian "ProfessorClumsy" Maddison
Focusing on the endeavours of young inventor Flint Lockwood, who has invented a machine that turns water into food, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs gets off to a very strong start, generating as much mirth as it can in as little time as possible. And the laughs do come thick and fast, lulling you into the false sense that you are about to have a rip-roaring good time. Well, for the first 20 minutes or so, that's very true, but as the film rolls onto its second act, the laughs get fewer and farther between, leaving us with a series of very similar set pieces, wherein various giant delicacies are flung towards our eyes in completely unnecessary 3-D.
What the film does get right, it gets very right. The character designs and animation are amusing and likable, producing smiles even during some of the film's duller moments. Behind these characters is an impressive cast of voice actors, including James Caan, Bruce Campbell and Mr. T (admit it, you've missed him). Caan, in particular, shines as the hero's father, who desperately wants to connect with his son but can articulate only in fishing metaphors. He is easily the film's warmest and most interesting character, but his tale is resolved in a somewhat clichéd manner, as are the rest of the characters' arcs. In fact, if you've ever seen a film before, you certainly won't be surprised by anything that happens in the final act of Meatballs.
Therein lies the film's greatest flaw: It just doesn't seem to know what to do with itself once it establishes the success of the hero's machine. It could have ended right there. Well done, Flint, you made it rain hamburgers. Bully for you! I'd have left satisfied, even though I'd only been there 20 minutes. This would have made a stunning short, but the filmmakers just seemed intent on throwing set pieces into it until it hit feature length. It certainly isn't obnoxiously long, but cut out 50 minutes of people running around unnecessarily and you've got yourself quite a movie, champ!
|Music / Sound||5|
|Overall||30 / 50