The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature review

 

My opinion right after watching the film

My opinion of the film right after watching it is that I’m still not impressed with the franchise, and the film still is not good. Still generic, still unfunny, still has unlikable characters, but it has better animation and story than I was expecting. 2017 continues to bore the heck out of me with their animated output.

Production

The film was put to production right after the first film was released, for a date of January 15, 2016. It was pushed back to May 19th, 2017, but was pushed back to the final date of August 11th, 2017.

Story

The film starts with all of the animals living at some nut shops, where they are benefiting from all-you-can-eat nuts. Surly (Will Arnett) is enjoying the factory life, while Andie (Katherine Heigl) is teaching some kids how to find food in the old way. She feels a way, since animals are supposed to work hard, and now all of them are lazy and fat.

Some villain named Mator Muldoon (Bobby Moyinhan) wants to cut down Liberty Park to build more property, and……. I don’t care to go too far back to find out, but isn’t this a similar presence to the first film? Anyways, the animals have to move back to Liberty Park because the Nut shop blew up. None of them want to have to go back to hunting again, and I just remember how much I disliked this group of characters. Instead of going back to hunting for food, they decide (and fail) to steal from shops.

They make a joke about Andie about to break into song (like this joke hasn’t been obliterated in the last decade and a half), before it is announced that Liberty Park is about to be turned into Libertyland. A plan of the animals is to disrupt the construction of Libertyland, and it works, which pisses off Mayor Muldoon, who is set to stop these animals. I also remembered that The Nut Job had a 1950s/1096s setting, and it seems to have gone away, or is downsized considerably.

So Surly is feeling some type of way because Andie is happy about being back in the woods, and he does not have that much experience with it. She tells him that they see him as a leader, so he has to act like one. I am so over his attitude, and the obnoxiousness of everyone else. The exterminator is called, and the dog of the exterminator named Frankie (Bobby Cannavale)  ends up falling in love with one of the dogs named Precious (Maya Rudolph).

They end up with some mice, which they escape from, while some of the others find a forest for them to live at. Surly and another animal sneaks into the Mayor’s office, while Precious dumps Frankie, only to be saved by Surly from the daughter’s room. Mayor and the daughter starts to chase after them. The other animal is named Buddy, who ends up falling down a balcony, so they think he’s dead. We get some backstory of Surly and Buddy of when they’re younger, to signify how much he valued their friendship. Of course he did not die, and we wasted 10-15 minutes.

With Libertyville seeming to be set up, all of the animals decide to ravage it to break all of the rides and stuff. The exterminators are of course fighting back, and putting a lot of the animals in cages. Surly goes to the mice that he was at earlier in the movie to ask for help with the park, but they reject. They end up agreeing offscreen, and end up crashing an exterminator truck, where all of the other animals were. They attack the Mayor, who ends up being arrested. The park ends up being repaired (though it takes a while), and everyone else lives happily ever after.

I have to say that this film is easily better than the first, as they did put more focus and heart into the story. The pacing is still really bad in the middle, and there are a lot of plot contrivances, things could have been a lot worse. Despite that, this is still a generic story that kind of repeats the formula from the first film without adding anything significant. The script is not good at all, and everything still feels really hollow.

Characters

What do I have to say about the characters in this film? I hated them almost to an unhealthy manner in the first film, and while they are not as hateable, I still do not like them. I almost feel like they are more one-dimensional in this film. You forget about them all so quickly, and there are barely any character moments. Nothing to really care about.

Animation

The biggest improvement I will say with the film is that the textures for the animation is actually pretty good. Character designs look a lot better than they did in the first film, so you can tell that they improved with their programming tools. The settings were a bit more bland than they were in the first film though.

Music

Nothing of note with the music in the film. They would start to sing, but they would be stopped, only to make a joke about some musicals. I wasn’t traumatized by it, so I guess that is a good sign.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on August 11th, 2017, it made $28.4 million in North America, and $17.7 million in other territories, causing a worldwide amount of $46.1 million. This is an issue, because the budget for the film is $40 million, and the first film made roughly around $100 million, so it underperformed.

It still received negative reception by the few people who saw it, claiming that it is better than the first film, but still has several flaws that makes it unentertaining, and a bad movie.

Score

Story: 5.5/10

Characters: 4.5/10

Animation: 7/10

Music: 6/10

23/40 = 58%

3 thoughts on “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature review

  1. Even though it wasn’t the best animation movie/franchise. I actually was impressed how great the second one was. I hate the first one but I like the second one. So to me, I saw a lot of improvement in this one.

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