'The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature'
‘The Nut Job’ was one of the worst talking animal animated family flicks in the history of the genre. But it was also one of the cheapest, so it made enough money off undemanding family audiences to justify a sequel. The follow-up is about as idiotic and unnecessary as the first film.
In discussing the many problems with ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’, let’s start with the title. It’s a pun based on a relatively obscure 1990s rap group. That’s theoretically funny only to the small selection of the audience who knows the group and will get pulled to the theater by their kids. However, it’ll also make that small sliver of the world roll their eyes and prepare for an insulting onslaught of bad jokes, idiotic characters, and a wasted ticket price. The children who actually want to see the movie won’t care a bit. Before even watching a frame of the movie, it’s already irritating for most viewers. I suppose that qualifies as truth in advertising, but it’s still an unfortunate start to this stupid sequel.
If you somehow managed to forget the magical waste of time and energy of the first ‘Nut Job’, it was a heist movie involving a bunch of rodents stealing a bunch of nuts like a furry ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ or whatever. It was as bad as it sounds and didn’t exactly cry out for a sequel. But it had to happen anyway and some unfortunate folks were hired to come up with a concept for it. Once again, Will Arnett returns as Surly, the ambitious and sarcastic squirrel with a taste for big ol’ nutty heists. He now has a nut shop were other furballs come to gorge on food. Unfortunately, the human mayor of the town (voiced by Bobby Moynihan if you somehow give a shit) has decided to bulldoze the park where Surly flaunts his nuts to make a theme park. That means Surly’s out of a job and a home, forced into the streets where he feuds with a kung-fu gang of mice led by Jackie Chan. It’s a hard nut life for all involved, so furry vengeance is necessary and… you know what, who cares? The plot is sloppy even by cheapo cash-in family film standards. The fact that so many famous actors who ought to know better read this script and still signed on is a sad statement about Hollywood greed.
The movie offers so many things to hate. The barrage of bad puns couldn’t possibly please the kids or parents in the audience. The grotesque caricatures on display manage to hit nearly every “-ism” in the sad screenwriters’ litany of ignorant offensiveness. The budget CG animation is best suited to be watched on a cellphone and certainly not a big screen. The nonsense plot goes nowhere. So many talented voice actors who deserve better are wasted. Pretty much everything that could go wrong in an animated film does. Not only is ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ worse that the garbage movie that preceded it, its somehow even worse than ‘The Emoji Movie’, which didn’t even manage to last a month as the worst family flick of the year.
Everyone involved in this project should be ashamed. They just dedicated multiple years of their lives that they’ll never get back to working on this crap heap. We should all just pretend that this thing doesn’t exist and move on. My condolences to all the parents out there who will be dragged out to this thing by their children or, even worse, be forced to sit through it multiple times at home. You and your children deserve better than ‘Nutty by Nature’. We all do.