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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: This kids' movie tastes too familiar

A scene from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

AP/Sony Pictures Animation

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja
Directed by
Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte

This 3-D animated follow-up to the 2009 adaptation of the children's book of the same name is packed with silly puns and visual inventiveness that will tickle tykes.

Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) goes to work with his childhood hero Chester V (Will Forte), the inventor and head of the Live Corp Company, who dispatches Lockwood and his gang from the original film back to the island of Sardine Falls, where Lockwood's food-processing invention has survived and is creating potentially world-destroying food monsters.

It's a richly imagined world in terms of its visuals and word play, one that is inhabited by susheep (sheep made out of sushi), banana ostriches and a crocodile made out of tacos, the roaring Tacodile Supreme. But kids will likely tire of the familiar, predictable story of a do-gooder forced to choose between his friends and his hero, who turns out to be manipulating Lockwood for his own nefarious purposes.

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The fantastic cast includes Anna Faris, Andy Samberg and Neil Patrick Harris all reprising their roles. Unfortunately, the film promises more fun and laughs than it delivers, and this meal tastes like too many that have gone before it.

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