MOVIE REVIEW: The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Sequel to a funny funny film that fails to live up the memory that I have of the first film.  Since the first film Surly and friends have been living in the Nut Shop, living the highlife, nearly every animal from the park has come to the nut shop to feast on the bounty of nuts that have been left behind.  When an explosion destroys their stash the animals have to relearn how to fend for themselves.  However the Evil Texas style mayor of the city wants to tear up the park and put in an amusement park instead.  Leaving the animals to either find a new park or fight back.

I really loved the first Nut Job movie, it was far from perfect but it took the slapstick humour of the Looney Tunes cartoons and just ran with it.  The voice of Will Arnett as Surly matched perfectly the wise cracking character just like hand to glove.  So although animated sequels rarely give you the same feels that the first film does, with one or two granted exceptions, I had hope.  This week has shown me that hope and expectations of films and people lead you to be disappointed to the extreme.  I’m not going to vent about the people who let me down.  Done enough of that.  So when this film let me down I got to come home and write about it.

Where the first film had a cute animation style and had me laughing for the running time, not in the aisles laughing, but enough of the chuckles to leave you happy that you spent the time watching the film.  This film however, instead of having a funny script it has funny looking stereotypes shouting.  As I say with stand up comedians, just because you shout something it doesn’t mean I’m going to laugh, that’s the case here.  The jokes are missing from the script, I called the police to report them missing, and then paid the fine for wasting their time.  It’s a shame that films don’t have to pay a fine for wasting your time.  I wish that I could tell you that the problems end there, but obviously they don’t, as I’m writing this sentence.

The animation seems to feel unfinished, also the background character design is lazy with massive amounts of repetition.  Also there is that feeling that they wanted to recapture the magic that The Secret Life of Pets brought to us this year, but just didn’t have either the talent or the heart to carry that off.  The Mouse that is voiced by Jackie Chan is a blatant rip off of the Bunny from Secret Life of Pets, while he’s a much-needed new character it still doesn’t make up for the short comings.  There doesn’t seem to be the imagination that Secret Life of Pets and Zootopia used to create the whole world around the film.  I do think that if you’re going to have sequels to animated films you’ve got to step up your game instead of going backwards.

The great test for an animated film for me, those that are aimed at the whole family, is that both adults and children should be fully entertained by the film, if you give it your best shot you’ve got a hit on  your hands.  I was seriously underwhelmed by the whole experience, I wanted to be laughing through this film like the first film, and believe me I needed to laugh.  I didn’t.  I doubt that anyone will.  If you are a fan of the first film, as I am, then stay in, order some food, get the kids ready and watch the first film again.  Fingers crossed that this nut is now fully cracked and done with.  We can only hope.

Director:  Cal Brunker
Writers: Bob BarlenCal Brunker & more

Stars: Will ArnettKatherine HeiglMaya Rudolph & more See full cast & crew


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