The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
The Nut Job 2 – Nutty by Nature : This sequel fails to impress
Movie Review by Dhanalakshmi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The Nut Job was an animated heist comedy film directed by Peter Lepeniotis, that struck a giant chord with young and old alike. Let’s get one thing clear, right at the beginning. The Nut Job 2 – Nutty by Nature is not anywhere close. The jokes are fewer, the plot is wafer-thin and the fun element is missing in the sequel. At various points in time, you feel like scenes have been strung in together without an actual semblance of a story.
Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends are back and are leading an easy life by feeding themselves from a closed nut shop in the city and residing in Liberty Park. They are having fun, have become lazy and fat. But soon their party comes to an abrupt end as the nut shop is bombed down. To add to their miseries, they are in danger of losing their city park home thanks to a corrupt mayor (Bobby Mohniyan) with a Texan accent, who plans to build an amusement park over the sanctioned greenscape.
After being left alone without adequate food and shelter, the squirrels realize the value of mother nature and they try to save the Liberty park, which is also home to many animals and birds. It is a simple story where the director intends to convey through an animation movie that there are no shortcuts in life.
Nut job 2 is similar to many other animation movies with a plot where humans turn against animals, numerous swift chasing scenes and witty dialogues. However, the movie lacks in many aspects, which are essential to pull off an animation flick. For instance, many of the jokes fail to click with adults. They might draw a laugh or two from children but most definitely do not strike the right chord with the adults.
A few dialogues here and there stand out and add much-needed life to the sloppy screenplay. Also, the visual effects of the movie are not great as compared to popular franchises like ‘Despicable Me’ or ‘Inside Out’.
In animation film, it is important that the characters are so well-etched that they remain with you long after you have stepped out of the theatre. But that is not the case with Nut Job 2. The important characters like Andie (Katherine Heigl), who is Surly’s love interest or Precious (Maya Rudolph), who is a pug protective of the squirrels; no one really manages to create a lasting impression. Even Surly’s character is annoying. However, the expression and actions of a mouse called ‘Buddy’ and cuteness of Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan) will bring a smile to your face. On the other hand, the greedy mayor (Bobby Moynihan) who tries to kill the animals and turn the park into an amusement park, and his daughter (Isabela Moner), who hates animals, make you cringe at their spitefulness at various instances.
Unlike other animation films, The Nut Job 2 doesn’t have many songs, where animals dance and sing together. But it has an effective background score that creates the requisite impact. The special sound track used for introductory scene of Mr. Feng is worth mentioning.
While the director has a special message to deliver to the audience through his film, a weak screenplay and a predictable plot foils the bid.