• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

The Nut Job

The Nut Job

Directed by Peter Lepeniotis. Voices by Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Liam Neeson, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Gabriel Iglesias, Sarah Gadon. (2014, PG, 86 min.)

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Jan. 17, 2014

The Nut Job is a head-scratcher. Kudos, I guess, go to the writers (Lorne Cameron and Peter Lepeniotis, who also directs) for curveballing your basic talking-animal cartoon with a parallel plot about Fifties gangsters, but their goon patois makes little sense when set next to the more-or-less modern argot of the small rodents that top-bill this Canadian/South Korean co-production. How “Gangnam Style” fits into all of this is a mystery, but that doesn’t stop the filmmakers from trotting out that stale K-pop ear-bleeder twice in a move as pandering as the film’s multiple fart gags.

Will Arnett voices Surly Squirrel, a loner and iconoclast disinclined to join the collectivist community of squirrels, rats, moles, and other furred foragers that share the same park. But when the food supply runs low, he agrees to lead a heist on a nearby nut shop, which itself is the front for some hooligans planning a bank job of their own. There’s no shortage of bad guys here – everybody’s a rat, so to speak, from the human heavies and Neeson’s raccoon demagogue on down to a menacing gang of actual rats – and none of the good guys are all that interesting, either in concept or execution (the voicework is mostly shrugging and – in the case of Arnett – aggressively uningratiating). But the richly hued CG animation is quite nice – a mix of hyperdetailed character work and painterly cityscapes and pastorals – and the script putters along with small but regular amusements.

READ MORE
More Films
Ice Age: Collision Course
Latest entry of the series is overstuffed and meandering

Marc Savlov, July 22, 2016

Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Another distorted salvo from Dinesh D’Souza

Louis Black, July 22, 2016

More by Kimberley Jones
Life, Animated
The magic of Disney unlocks a boy's mind

July 22, 2016

Ghostbusters
Controversy aside, this reboot fails to hit the mark

July 15, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Nut Job, Peter Lepeniotis

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)