The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
As far as children’s comedies go, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is reinventing the wheel. In this sequel, Will Arnett is Surly, a purple squirrel who leads his gang of animal companions in a quest to defend their park from the evil Mayor’s plans to turn their home into an amusement park. Cue a nice ethos about little guys coming together and using hard work to beat a big baddie. Cue appropriately adorable 3D-animated characters. Cue cheesy jokes, with a few insertions of grown-up references for the benefit of the adults who accompany their child to this flick. And round it off with support from an all-star cast of Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan, Katherine Heigl and Bobby Moynihan.
Even if this movie feels like every other 3D animated feature since 2002, it’s not unwatchable. Visually, it is bright and colourful enough to keep the kids’ attention and it does offer up some good clean fun that younger audiences and parents might appreciate. Alongside its strong messages about unity and work ethic, it’s also more nature focused than its 2014 predecessor The Nut Job.
But any similarity to other such comedies could be forgiven if the film were actually funny. Most of the humour is slapstick in a very rudimentary sense, with much of it deriving from characters colliding into walls or objects for comedic effect. There are many terrifically funny children’s movies that can utilise slapstick well, but The Nut Job 2’s attempts at this appear repetitive and uninspired even by the standards of the genre. Even the references meant for any grown-ups watching feel forced and lazy (eg a mouse calling himself a “weapon of mouse destruction”).
The Nut Job 2 isn’t atrocious, however, most glaringly it suffers from a case of being forgettable. Besides a decent cameo from Jackie Chan as a mouse who is a martial arts expert, the animation does not offer anything unique to make it stand out in a summer cinema season oversaturated with massive family films (Despicable Me 3, The Lego Ninjago Movie and Cars 3, amongst others). While it’s doubtful that anyone under 12 will loathe the picture, it’s also unlikely that anyone is going to go nuts over it.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is released nationwide on 11th August 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature here: