'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' a flat knock-off

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The out-of-nowhere novelty and delight of Sony Animation's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," based on Judi and Ron Barrett's children's book, is missing in "Meatballs 2." The design and color palette is as glorious as ever. But the laughs are few and innovations fewer in this generally winded knock-off.

Flint Lockwood's cuisine-creating weather machine has come to the attention of corporate scientist and TV science show host Chester V (Will Forte), who worries that the island of Swallow Falls is too dangerous to live on -- for now. The gadget is producing food animals -- predator.

So Chester convinces the town to evacuate and Flint (Bill Hader) to join Chester V's scientists who work in Chester V's invention factory. Eventually, Flint is commissioned to go back and turn off his errant weather-food machine, and his pals venture back there to brave "an eco-system of living food."

There's a villain though the villain is bland as oatmeal without the raisins.


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