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‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ is in the No-Fun Zone

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Average: 5 (1 vote)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Anyone showing up to the “The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature” will know exactly what they’re going to get… it’s a late summer sequel to an animated movie you may be surprised was successful enough to warrant a sequel at all, much less a theatrically released one.

I must admit I did not see the first Nut Job film. However after seeing this sequel, I’m in no hurry to catch up on the further adventures of this rag-tag group of urban woodland creatures. But before I get too into it though I want to throw a few pebbles of faint praise. We truly live in a golden age of animation because even third tier hand-me-downs like this one are competently animated and put together. It may not have an iota of the heart of Pixar’s best, but at least it doesn’t look like something that sprang from a screensaver on a Commodore Amiga.

NJ1
Surly (Voice of Will Arnett, Foreground) is on a Quest in ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Photo credit: Open Road Films (II)

Beyond that there’s very little to recommend this manic exercise in animated movie cliches, with nary a single memorable character. Only a few hours after I saw this film on a Saturday morning – surrounded by fidgety 4 year olds – I was struggling to remember a single name without looking it up on IMDB.

Will Arnett is a funny guy, but there’s almost none of his charm on display here as the squirrel named Surly – who leads his fellow woodland creatures on a quest to protect their city park from a greedy developer. Katherine Heigl continues her poor choices in choosing roles as the side-kick squirrel, a nagging and scolding named Andie. The only one who makes half an impact is Jackie Chan playing a martial arts mouse known as Mr. Feng, but even that part was seemed written on autopilot. A variety of other funny people you’ve enjoyed in elsewhere (Maya Rudolph, Bobby Moynihan, Bobby Cannavale) are almost literally phone it in here.

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Voice of Jackie Chan as Mr. Feng in ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Photo credit: Open Road Films (II)

Kids won’t see anything here that they haven’t seen a dozen times before, and parents won’t find even the slightest morsel to hang onto, to stave off the inevitable boredom. While your average episode of “The Simpsons” has dozens of jokes a minute, “The Nut Job 2” can’t manage even one ounce of humorous inspiration in its running time.

The only bright side is it’s too slight and forgettable to really get worked up about. However, this animated movie seems destined not to be seen in a theater, but ignored later when it appears in your child’s Netflix feed.

”The Nut Job: Nutty by Nature” opens everywhere on August 11th, in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for the 3D theaters and showtimes Featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan, Bobby Cannavale, Bobby Moynihan, Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias. Screenplay by Cal Brunker, Bob Barlen and Sunghwan Kim. Directed by Cal Brunker. Rated “PG

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2017 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

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