For a film contrived principally for the kiddies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is surprisingly receiving some mighty enthusiastic reviews from ordinarily jaded adult movie critics, although the review by Miriam Bale in The New York Times will likely raise a few eyebrows. There are moments of visual humor, she writes, that are so inventive they feel like a glimpse of a cartoon masterpiece Jerry Lewis might have made. That term, inventive, is often employed in other reviews -- such as Betsy Sharkey's in the Los Angeles Times. It is the inventive design of the many creatures that feels so fresh, she observes. The detail is so rich, and so dense, that you wish some of the frames would freeze so you had more time for savoring. Dave McGinn in the Toronto Globe & Mail concludes that the movie is packed with silly puns and visual inventiveness that will tickle tykes. And clearly Jordan Hoffman in the New York Daily News savored the entire film: This is unquestionably 2013's best animated movie so far, he comments. But several critics were left groaning at some of the movie's puns, particularly Kyle Smith in the New York Post, who invoked a few of his own to describe the movie. I'm afraid they made a hash of things, he writes. A hash seasoned with oy sauce. Other critics compare it unfavorably with the original, like Sean O'Connell in the Washington Post, who remarks, What once felt so funny now leaves a stale taste.
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This lively romp is entertaining enough to amuse the audience even when it veers off the rails.