Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Movie Review

Like a comically deranged Twilight Zone episode, this colourful animated feature underscores its fantastical story with some intriguingly serious issues. But it never gets preachy, and a stream of warped humour will keep adults chuckling all the way through.

Geeky inventor Flint (voiced by Hader) has finally created something that will make him famous: a machine that makes food from water. When it's inadvertently catapulted into the clouds, it starts raining cheeseburgers, much to everyone's delight. Now famous, he remotely programmes the machine to rain everything from ice cream to spaghetti and meatballs. While Flint's mono-browed dad (Caan) doesn't really get him, the greedy mayor (Campbell) wants a piece of his success. Meanwhile, Flint meets weather reporter Sam (Faris), who might actually understand him.

Filmmakers Lord and Miller somehow manage to keep the film utterly silly, with outrageous visual flourishes and zany comical asides, while maintaining a sharp intelligence beneath the surface. As a result, grown-ups will probably find the film funnier than kids, who will be entranced by the visual antics and miss the sophisticated wit. And they quietly hide the serious subtext as well, including a knowing look at celebrity and pointed comments on how tricky it is for people to truly communicate.

But all of this is mere icing on the cake, as it were, for a film that's raucous, nonstop fun. Images of food falling from the sky are pure dreamlike fantasy, especially when Flint's machine overheats and produces oversized culinary delights that look utterly delicious even as they flatten the houses they land on. Of course, this gives the screenwriters plenty of running gags and punning opportunities, which the talented vocal cast run wild with.

Even side characters like Mr T's supercop and Bratt's Guatemalan cameraman get terrific moments along the way, while Flint's relationship with his dad has a surprising resonance. And along the way, there are some superb sequences that combine goofy humour with awkward emotion plus a hint of unhinged weirdness (such as the Jell-O palace). And as global chaos threatens to erupt, along with Mt Leftovers, the film develops into a hysterical disaster movie satire that's brilliantly animated and, for once, makes full use of 3D to throw everything right into our faces.


Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: U, 2009


More Bill Hader

SNL In The Ratings Pit, Even After Solid Bill Hader Episode

There’s something rotten at SNL. And by that I mean, the writing just isn’t the same and the viewers are starting to notice. Despite Bill...

Bill Hader Returns To SNL For A One-Off Show, Brings Kristen Wiig, Everything Is The Greatest

Bill Hader returned to SNL last night and it was the. Best. Thing. Seriously, if you’ve ever been a fan of the comedian, this week’s...

Inside Out Trailer

Riley is an ordinary young girl growing up, thought she has some very real hurdles to get over as she enters into her teen years....

Bill Hader Heading Back to Saturday Night Live

'Saturday Night Live' fans rejoice! Bill Hader, one of the best loved alumni from the long-running sketch and variety show, is heading back to New...


Inside Out Trailer

Uku is a volcano living in the isolated tropical beauty of Hawaii and desperate to find someone to love him. He sings about his lonliness...

They Came Together Movie Review

How do you spoof a genre that's already a joke? Filmmakers David Wain and Michael Showalter clearly think the answer is to go for broke...

The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby Trailer

Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) play a couple who fall in love and get married, before hitting various hiccups in their relationship. However,...

A Week In Movies: Stars Stage Photo-Calls As Apes, Greek Gods And Musicians, While Will Ferrell Films In Los Angeles

It was a week for photo-calls, as the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gathered in San Francisco. Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman,...