Review: The Nut Job (All Nuts, No Glory)

The Nut Job

The Nut Job (like The Italian Job, but terrible) is a Canadian/Korean co-production. Somehow I expect this information to explain the film’s over-attentiveness to slapstick and lack of intrigue—but maybe it only justifies the movie’s overbearing use of Gangnam Style. Please see the publicity still above as a representation of the film’s anticipated critical response.

Rogue squirrel Surly (Will Arnett) and his mute BFF Buddy want to heist the nut vendor on the outskirts of their park. It's close to winter, food is short and they’re not above hoarding the winter spoils while their park neighbors starve. Liam Neeson (worlds away from Aslan) voices Raccoon, the power hungry leader of park food storage and the rodent responsible for discharging heroes Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Grayson (Brendan Fraser) to intercept Surly’s spoils. After expulsion from the park, Surly and Buddy plan a bigger heist: the nut shop currently operating as a front for a bank heist (someone’s seen Small Time Crooks too many times).

Like the cinematic equivalent of getting almond bits caught in your throat, The Nut Job hijinks go from tolerable to tedious, but ultimately demonstrate a lot of consistency: it’s one pratfall after another for a solid 86 minutes. As the calling card for the Korean animation company, you couldn’t create a more effective representative for work—a “calling card,” as it were—but I’m unsure children can comfortably tolerate an 86minute marathon of low-grade knockabout. I certainly found it tiresome.

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