It was an animated adventure in boredom until Jackie Chan showed up.
I’d never seen the first Nut Job film, which, really, was fine. If you’re going to see The Nut Job 2 for whatever reason, you can put away that ‘fear of missing out’ if, like me, you haven’t either.
In The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Surley the Squirrel (voiced by Will Arnett) is living off the avails of a bankrupt nut shop. He and friends Precious the Pug (Maya Rudolph), Mole (Jeff Dunham) and Buddy (Tom Kenny) are among those who indulge in nuts all day. That’s much to the chagrin of Andie (Katherine Heigl), who refuses to take advantage of the nut shop, and instead forage for food, “like nature intended.”
A series of problems unfold: the animals lose their nut shop (and convenient source of food), and the town’s mayor, (Bobby Moynihan) wants to bulldoze nearby Liberty Park so he can put up an amusement park — making that not an option for the animals to go back to. Along the way, the group gets acquainted with the mayor’s bulldog, Frankie (Bobby Cannavale), the mayor’s daughter, Heather (Isabela Moner) and deranged animal control officer Gunther (Peter Stormare). They also get to know a “city mouse” named Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), who is basically the coolest and cutest mouse ever — just don’t call him cute.
This is not groundbreaking cinema: adults will find this boring, but younger children will find it fun. There are some moments where the older crowd may let out the odd chuckle, and the movie really is only any kind of ‘fun’ when Mr. Feng shows up. I also kind of enjoyed the bits involving Frankie and Precious; in fact, Frankie takes to portmanteauing their names, calling themselves “Freshious” when they’re together.
Otherwise, expect dusty nuts, seen-it-all-before gags — the kinds of things you’d spot in a Saturday morning cartoon, just extended. I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this in a theatre. I’d recommend seeing it when it comes out on Bluray or digital download. It’ll be a good way to keep young kids entertained on a lazy afternoon.
Just an observation: a lot of the animation was done overseas, so I would not be surprised if this opened to some solid dollar figures when it launches internationally. Ergo, while it may not do so well in North America, it wouldn’t be a shocker if it racked up far more money in places like South Korea or China.
I’m giving this film two nuts out of five. Definitely an at-home rental.