Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Nut Job - Review

A loner squirrel/master thief finds a huge score when he comes across a nut shop within the heart of the city. However, his pursuit to steal its entire treasure trove gets more complicated, thanks to distractions such as his fellow park animals, a guard dog, and a group of robbers using the place as cover for their own bank robbery. At first glance, THE NUT JOB seems to be another mediocre animated feature to distract the kids for a hour and change. But by fully observing it, the attentive viewer is left in a prolonged state of utter confusion. Its entire art design invokes the 20-30s gangster era, yet it features anachronisms like a rap musical score and the ultra-strange inclusion of the song "Gangnam Style". The plot doesn't just twist and turn, it does u-turns, knock off some side mirrors, before finally hitting a brick wall of stupidity. For instance, the protagonist Surly (Will Arnett) is exiled from the city park for the destruction of the tree holding the community's food supply, despite the sheer fact that the violent act wouldn't have happened if the good female squirrel (Katherine Heigl) didn't force a gas-powered peanut cart to be driven into the park. She somehow escapes punishment for her crime, the same treatment that is also given to a comedic mole (Jeff Dunham) who later turns heel and viciously tries to kill his comrades by drowning them. I'm sadden to be such a critical detractor to Peter Lepeniotis' animal opus, especially since the film does have some genuinely tender moments and features a funny character with Maya Rudolph's Dug-like pug. But I can't give it any extra pity or an uptick in the rating, certainly not when it advocates a world of idiocracy or mines the hell out of "cops love donuts" jokes.


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