The Nut Job (2014)
Critic Consensus: Hampered by an unlikable central character and source material stretched too thin to cover its brief running time, The Nut Job will provoke an allergic reaction in all but the least demanding moviegoers.
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Critic Reviews for The Nut Job
Pretty much everything in this South Korean co-production is slightly undercooked, lacking the same degree of sprightly wit or dramatic punch regularly found in A-list studio product.
This is the cinematic equivalent of a nut with no kernel, a film with no heart.
Children under seven will enjoy the slapstick nature of the fun and the irresistible Gangnam Style end credits sequence [but] parents might question why a film of this nature needs to feature humans using guns.
This week's talking-animal toon is bad enough to cause an allergic reaction in anyone above the age of five. Everyone else is advised to take along two peanuts, one for each ear.
Audience Reviews for The Nut Job
The story idea is good, but the characters are unsympathetic and usually underdeveloped. The images are high quality, but there's a constant lack of naturalism in the movement of the characters -- so in that sense, it's poorly animated. Mostly good voice acting (except for whoever plays the dog -- totally unconvincing).
The most expensive movie co-produced in South Korea...apparently, and Canada had their fingers involved too! So would this explain why the movie is so poor? This whole fiasco is based on an animated short which revolved around the main character Surly Squirrel (sounds like a crap Disney character).
Park creatures are the focus of this animal based adventure, well park creatures and some woodland creatures it seems. So its kinda like 'Over the Hedge' but just nowhere near as good or funny. For some unknown reason the movie is set in 1959 although I had no clue to this whilst watching, I just thought it was the artistic style for quirkiness. All these little mammals live in or near a big tree within a park, winter is coming and they gotta collect nuts to survive. I kinda always thought that was a squirrel thing but in this movie raccoon's moles birds etc...all seem to want nuts too.
Believe it or not that's pretty much the entire premise, creatures after nuts. The gimmick being after accidentally burning down the big tree whilst trying to nab nuts, Surly Squirrel is outcast into the city to survive as punishment. There he discovers a basement full of nuts but the basement is also the HQ for some bank robbers who are attempting their own heist. Hence the movie being called the Nut Job because it deals with a bank job and a similar job for the creatures trying to nab these nuts...such a clever play on the 'Italian Job' movie...oh geez...face in palms cringe time. Oh and I guess Surly Squirrel is caused this down to the fact he's miserable mean and selfish right? (*groan*).
OK the movie looks good of course, I can't fault that but its hardly a surprise is it. Everything is animated beautifully and looks glossy. All the characters are well designed, they all look as they should (cartoony versions of animals) and the voice acting work is solid. The nameless raccoon character looks to have been designed around Liam Neeson's face as they both have similar facial expressions and a big conk which work well. Various other characters are as you'd expect with the stereotypical dumb clumsy characters, fat ugly characters, tough large characters and the one main attractive female character (attractive on an animal level).
Most of these characters are all reasonable enough accept for Grayson Squirrel who is the park hero...but is actually very incompetent and cowardly (you're suppose to laugh now...this is the funny character). This guy is annoying and pretty pointless really, he serves no real purpose and could be easily hacked out of the movie. Naturally Brendan Fraser voices this highly annoying and pointless squirrel and we've seen this act before from Fraser.
One problem with this movie is there are too many character I think, you're never really sure if you actually like any of them because most of them are so fundamentally unlikable and boring. Well that and incredibly cliched predictable and stereotypical of every animal animated movie ever! The plot is so utterly drab and it goes nowhere! they wanna steal nuts, OK so steal them, what's the big deal. The stupid thing is they're animals...they could probably grab nuts and all sorts from anywhere in a city and in the end they don't actually manage to get them anyway! Half of them got flushed away in the river and can you count wet soggy nuts a score? The actual bank heist sub-plot going on with the humans just seemed so redundant, who cares? I didn't. It didn't really bare any influence or relevance on the animal plot going on around their feet.
Christ this movie was dull! I mean seriously I was getting up and doing other things. The plot is so slow, so dull, so unadventurous. The characters are so basic, so flat, so completely lifeless and cliched its painful, the fact the movie tries to be funny also sticks out like a sore thumb and bombs hard. Grayson Squirrel is clearly meant to be the pant wettingly funny aspect of the movie and he sucks ass! whilst the main hero squirrel Surly is just depressing. Oh and Hollywood people...its kinda creepy animating these cutesy creatures with human expressions and body movements.
What was that soundtrack about?! I'm guessing the use of horrendous 'Gangnam Style' track is down to the fact the movie was co-produced in South Korea. Was that really necessary? oh and was it remotely necessary to have an animated PSY in the end credits doing that stupid dance with all the animals!! Good God that was terrible, switched that shit off quicker than you can say that song will date this movie badly in years to come.
This is what you get when an animation director decides to direct an animation of his own: a movie that is visually appealing but is also unfunny, cliched and totally forgettable, aimed at easy fun for undemanding small kids and nothing else.
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