Year: 2009
Run Time: 90 minutes
Genre/Sub: Animated, Comedy, Fantasy
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, James Caan
Director: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller

Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is an inventor looking to get his first invention that doesn’t end in disaster. He lives on the island of Swallowfalls, said to be somewhere in under ‘A’ in the Atlantic Ocean, a community surrounded and highly dependent on sardines. He then gets the brilliant idea to invent a machine that turns water in food. As expected the invention backfires but the whole community lauds Flint’s effort as a breakthrough.

Joining the ensemble is Flint’s father (voiced by James Caan) who is quite technophobic but still tries to engage his son, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) a news intern who is given the job nobody wanted and Mayor Shelbourne (Bruce Campbell) who is desperately trying to revive the economy after the islands’ only sardine processing plant closed down.

The story kicks off with a great premise and immediately captures your imagination. What then follows is the best example of a breakdown of plot continuity I have ever witnessed. Starting with why the FLDSMDFR (thats the name of the machine) has rocket propulsion or why it stays in a suspended state in the troposphere or what is powering that thing anyway, it needed the island’s entire power supply just to get started. And the list keeps going on and on (I really did make list).

Where it Scores:
The jokes are many and it will illicit giggles from most audiences. Some good issues are brought to light, such as its ok to be nerd, economic recession, father-son relationships like those Mr. Lockwood and that of Officer Earl (voiced by Mr. T).

Where it Fails:
The jokes ARE many and you struggle to keep up. A poorly cast Neil Patrick Harris as Steve the Monkey that talks via a console (didn’t we see that in Up). A haphazord plot that they tried to stitch together by throwing in as many jokes and as many cliches as possible.

My take:
I love having my imagination tickled as much as the next guy but coming in the shadow of what I think was the best movie of the year ‘Up’, this film pales in comparison. It fails to do what ‘Up’ did, capture a film audience with a wide varying age gap. The movie is riddled with inconsistencies and very tired cliches. Though it does provide some laughs, it is not a great. Most critiques laud this movie, I simply can’t but I will advice to watch it for yourself and get your perspective on it.

Must see? Sure, why not. Must have? Definitely no.