When the first Nut Job film came to my local cinema, I wholeheartedly skipped the chance to see it – I genuinely didn’t want to waste my time. Now, fast forward three and half years later, I’m reviewing the sequel… *sigh*.
Our animal protagonists are now living it up in “The Nut Shop” – eating away at their lifetime supply of nuts without a care in the world – but due to their foolishness, it ends up burning to ashes (along with their lifetime supply of food). They now have to go back to their “primitive” ways of getting food (such as acorns, stealing popcorn from cinemas, etc), but when The Mayor decides to demolish the park and turn it into an amusement park – the animals all come together to rebel against this and protect their new home.
For whatever it’s worth, The Nut Job 2 (oddly followed by the ill-fitting subtitle “Nutty By Nature”) isn’t complete garbage, it’s just not a very good movie (for both kids and adult). It’s just so bland and predictable – all the jokes are either obvious puns or gross out humour, not mentioning the few semi-decent jokes that were more like references that the target audiences will most likely not understand.
At the very least, they are being told by a charismatic cast who give it their all and then laugh all the way to the bank. Will Arnett is back as Surly and is essentially just playing himself, but as a squirrel – he’s still amazing either way so it’s okay. The same goes for almost everyone else involved in the voice acting, especially Maya Rudolph, who delivers her lines in the exact same way every time (just like she does in every other animated feature film she has a co-starring spot in).
The animation has improved since the film’s predecessor. The character models are still quite unappealing to the naked eye and fairly “depthless” – we have no surface level intrigue. On some level, the film takes place in an animated world which could lead you to be a little more ambitious and creative with the appearance of your character rather than just taking on a lackluster character model.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature seriously felt like it was written, filmed and ultimately finished all in one day. Every aspect of the film screams “phoned-in” from the top of its lungs and that cry echoes and lingers for the rest of the scene. If you absolutely have to take your children to this one, then just go for it. I guess it has a heartwarming message (that could very well get lost in translation due to context and tone) that all kids should learn. The entire film passes by within a blink of an eye and you’ll forget everything about it within 30 seconds.