Raccoon: I’m afraid this is the wrong kind of nut.
Imagine OCEAN’S 11 but as a cartoon about squirrels and you’ve got THE NUT JOB in a nutshell. Only this movie isn’t really any good so maybe picture OCEAN’S 12 instead. THE NUT JOB is a heist movie about a squirrel who has been kicked out of his home for causing mayhem and trouble who now finds himself fending for himself in the big city. It is a cute enough concept concept but it is terribly executed with few laughs that stem from surprisingly old references that date this new animated movie greatly. In fact, you might have to actually be a nut to enjoy this film.
The voice cast, led by Will Arnett, is the only part of the movie that was reasonably enjoyable. Arnett plays Surly, a self-centred squirrel who orchestrates the robbery a nut cart to prepare for winter. Unbeknownst to Surly, Racoon (Liam Neeson) is sending his own team of squirrels, Grayson (Brendan Fraser) and Andie (Katherine Heigl), after the same nut cart to find enough food for their winter. Hijinks ensue as things get out of hand. The cart has a gas leak, which leads to a fire that spreads to tree that these critters rely on for regular food. Racoon and the other animals opt to forcibly evict Surly from the park altogether after this last stunt. This leaves Surly and the animals under Racoon’s command to fend for themselves and find enough food so they do not starve during the winter. And what better place to find food, then the lost land of Nutlantis? Yes, you read that correctly.
Novice director, Peter Lepeniotis fails to create any suspense in this mediocre attempt at a kiddie caper. When a movie is aimed at a younger audience, it has to capture their imagination completely in order to hold that audience’s attention, and if it wants to play with the Pixar’s of the world, it should entertain adults as well. Unfortunately, THE NUT JOB fails to captivate anyone’s attention with its nutty nonsense. All it did was make me question why I had stopped hibernating to come out and see it.