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Introduction: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is based off of the children's book of the same name that was written by Judi and Ron Barrett. Both the book and the film follows an inventor, Flint (Played by Bill Hader) after he invents a machine that turns water into food. After a mishap involving a power station, the machine is sent up to the sky, where it starts making it rain food. However, when the food starts to get bigger and bigger, it's up to Flint to save the town. The film also stars Anna Faris as a reporter (and Flint's love interest), Bruce Campbell as the Mayor, Mr. T as a police officer and Neil Patrick Harris as a talking monkey.
The Review: This film is very similar to The Polar Express in that it's based off of a short book, therefore making me wonder if it will be able to support a feature-length runtime. However while Express could, Cloudy couldn't. You see, Express increased it's runtime by building on to the original story by adding new, interesting characters and by going deeper into the train ride than the book did. Cloudy on the other hand, boosts it's runtime by dragging scenes on for too long.
Take for example the end of the movie. Flint is about to destroy the machine by sending a kill code through the machine that tells the other machine what to do. (It makes more sense in the movie. Kind of.) However when the Mayor destroys the machine, Flint rebuilds his flying car to deliver the kill code manually. (Why he didn't just rebuilt the machine that could send the code is a mystery.) Then, while he's in the flying the car to the machine, he drops the kill code out of the window. So, then he gets his father to e-mail the kill code to his cell phone. But, the father doesn't know how to use e-mail. So, Flint walks his father through it, but then the computer gets destroyed. BUT THEN, his father some how sends the email even though the computer is destroyed. BUT THEN, it turns out his father e-mailed him the wrong thing. So, Flint ends up just cloging the machine to make it expolde, therefore making every scene with the kill code, entirely pointless.
The film also increases it's runtime by have an over-abundence of jokes. While yes the movie is funny, I couldn't help but fell like I did while I was watching the Cars Toons. You know, I enjoyed the shorts, but the whole time I was painfully aware of the fact that these shorts were made just to make more toys. With Cloudy, I did enjoy the jokes, but the whole time I was painfully aware of the fact that they are making these jokes is just to make the movie longer. I mean the best way to put is is like this. Imagine I give you a piece of cake that tastes like cardboard, but I cover the cake in good-tasting frosting. Sure, the frosting's good but it doesn't make the cake not taste like cardboard. Now just replace the cake with a movie and the frosting with jokes and you get Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
The Verdict: Overall, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a funny film, but it's plot is paper-thin and it just goes on for too long. It's would have been better if it were an hour and 15 minute direct-to-DVD film. 3.5 out of 6.