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Mike McCahill’s Nearly Incoherent “Meatballs 2—Review” Is Worse Than Bad

In response to Mike McCahill’s 188‑word review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Guardian [UK]

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You have to wonder why Mike McCahill even bothered to write “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2—review,” a bite-sized, confused, and tonally challenged mess. It’s amazing how tangential McCahill manages to be in two short paragraphs, traversing the wide expanse that separates franchise analysis from Christmas shopping in a short 188 words.

McCahill’s secret is abandoning logic and coherency. He decides that instead of plotting a clear trail that will lead from one point to another, he can save space and time by eliminating those pesky transitions and the very earthbound notion of narrative coherency. This allows him to visit such disparate ideas as plot devices, animation highlights, humor, and disappointed expectations all in the matter of seconds.

While that may not sound bad, after all, those are all elements that feature in excellent reviews, the lack of any connecting tissue makes the constant change of direction disorienting and frustrating. You’ll find yourself rereading sentences again and again, trying to decipher what exactly is being said. Unless you get motion sickness easily, in which case you’ll just spend that time vomiting.

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that a 188 word review doesn’t shine, but this is a particularly foul example of the review in brief. Even by removing any type of contextual expectation, it still fails to work on nearly any level.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation