Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Movie Review: "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" (2017)

Director: Cal Brunker
Year: 2017
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

After the nut shop burns down, the animals are forced to return to the park. The town's corrupt mayor, however, has plans to turn their regular park into an amusement park so he can make a profit. Now, the animals living there must fight to save their home.

"The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" is a sequel to the critically panned "The Nut Job," which only saw tepid box office returns. One must wonder two things when considering the existence of this sequel: 1) why was it made at all? and 2) why is its subtitle a reference to an early 90's hip-hop group that was irrelevant ten years before this movie's target audience was even born? We may never know the answers to these questions. The majority of the original cast returns to reprise their roles with the exception of Brendan Fraser, who must not have been able to fit it into his busy, busy schedule. Will Arnett voices Surly, a squirrel who is a bit of a jerk, but did happen to find the nut shop where all of the animals now live and gorge themselves on a lifetime supply of nuts. Joining him once again is Katherine Heigl, who plays Andie, a squirrel who refuses to live in the nut shop and refuses to eat the abundance of free nuts she has available to her because she believes that animals belong in the park. She also thinks the hard work of scrounging and foraging builds character. Apparently, accepting a free food handout of makes you lazy and reliant on the nanny nut shop, which in turns makes you incapable of fending for yourself. Also voicing characters in the film are Maya Rudolph, Bobby Cannavale, Bobby Moynihan, Peter Stormare, Isabela Moner, and Jackie freakin' Chan, among many others.

We really have no one to blame but ourselves. What did we really expect from "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature?" We expected the characters to repeatedly say the word 'nut' a bunch of times, which they do. We expected a lot of lame running jokes that aren't funny, which we get in spades. This is particularly true when one of the mice yells "we're all gonna die!" seven. goddamn. times. It wasn't funny the first time and sure as hell wasn't funny the seventh time. We expected bodily function jokes, and in place of lazy fart jokes, this time we get to watch a dog eating its own vomit...excuse us, regurgitating its food (there's a difference!), as a sign of affection. We expected a nonsensical story, and we even get that, too.

It seems like the animals had been struggling to survive in the park, that's why most of them moved to the nut shop. Acorns appear to be few and far between outside of the shop. With the looming threat of an impending amusement park being built on what once was their home, the park, which barely sustained them in the first place, has all of a sudden become their livelihood. The city's evil mayor wants to build a profitable park, yet he dumps a huge investment into sub-par rides, shoddy equipment, condemned parts, and broken down attractions that not even the most desperate entertainment seeker would dare ride. Seems like a terrible plan. We know, we're getting too deep into the plot of this mindless children's movie whose only purpose is to distract your children for 91 minutes. There are animated films that respect their young audience, like "The Iron Giant" or the majority of films put out by Disney and Pixar. "The Nut Job 2," however, is a movie that treats its audience like they are a stupid bunch of idiots. Its sole purpose is to make a bunch of animals run around and slam into things while attempting to create humor in the laziest way possible. The runners of this dog and pony show hope it will be enough to squeeze a bit of cash out of an unsuspecting audience who don't realize they wasted their money until it's too late to get a refund.

On the bright side, it was a hot day when we saw "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" and the theater was air conditioned. This is the nicest thing we can say about this abysmal sequel.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: ~4.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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