Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D) (U)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2009

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Hugely entertaining, beautifully animated and genuinely hilarious comedy with an inventive, brilliantly written script, wonderful characters, a terrific voice cast and state-of-the-art 3D effects.

What's it all about?
Based on the best-selling children's book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs centres on geeky inventor Flint (voiced by Bill Hader), whose history of disastrous creations (flying rat-birds, monkey-thought-translators) comes to a sudden and dramatic end when he invents a machine that turns water into food. When it's accidentally catapulted into the sky, Flint finds he can program the machine to make it rain whatever food he likes, from ice cream to cheeseburgers to the titular meatballs, all of which comes as a delight to his small island-in-the-middle-of-the-Atlantic town, who've existed on an exclusively sardine-based diet for several years.

However, problems soon begin mounting up for Flint: the greedy mayor (Bruce Campbell) wants to exploit his success, the food portions keep expanding in size and there's the increasing problem of what to do with all the leftovers. Meanwhile, Flint struggles to communicate with his mono-browed father (James Caan) and also finds himself falling for smarter-than-she-makes out weather reporter Sam (Anna Faris).

The Good
Hader, Faris, Caan and Campbell are all terrific, while the mouth-watering support cast also boasts colourful character work from Mr T (as supercop Earl Devereaux) and Benjamin Bratt (as an unexpectedly brilliant-at-everything Guatemalan cameraman), though the film is almost stolen by Flint's pet monkey, Steve (Neil Patrick Harris).

The script is jam-packed with quotable dialogue, witty one-liners and terrific sight gags that ensure big laughs in every scene. It's also enjoyably paced and delivers some subtle messages without descending into preachiness.

The Great
The animation is gorgeous throughout and there are several delightfully inventive moments (such as Flint's specially sculpted first date venue), whilst directors Lord and Miller encourage repeat viewings by having comical things happening in the background of almost every scene. In addition, the film makes full use of its state-of-the-art 3D effects, particularly during the exciting, disaster-movie-esque climax.

Worth seeing?
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of the funniest films of the year - a hugely enjoyable, superbly written and brilliantly animated comedy that'll send you out of the cinema grinning from ear to ear. Unmissable entertainment.

Film Trailer

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D) (U)
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Content updated: 15/02/2019 19:56

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