By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
What’s really nuts about the new, animated kiddie comedy “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”
is it’s a cut above the 2014 original movie, “The Nut Job.” That’s faint praise for sure since the bar for that one wasn’t very high to begin with. Still, “The Nut Job” raked in a cool $120.9 million.
That was probably enough reason for Open Road Films to tap the well again.
In “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature,”
Surly (Will Arnett, TV’s “Flaked”), the flamboyant purple squirrel and his friends become displaced when the shuttered nut shop they used to call home is blown to pieces after a boiler valve explodes.
Andie (Katherine Heigl, TV’s “Doubt”) believes their displacement could be a blessing in disguise. She was starting to worry that the critters were becoming too lazy since they had a ton of nuts left in the warehouse and weren’t using their natural hunting and gathering instincts.
Now that they are all forced to live in the local city park, it’s kind of slim pickings for food.
Even worse, the animals face a bigger hurdle because the town’s mayor (Bobby Moynihan, “The Book of Henry” and TV’s “Me, Myself And I”) plans to turn the park into a money-making tourist trap called “Liberty Land.”
Mayor Muldoon (Moynihan) and his obnoxious, little daughter, Heather (Isabela Moner, “Transformers: The Last Night”), are despicable. He’s only concerned with his bottom line and cuts so many corners to get the park running that it’s embarrassing.
Things get really nutty when Surly, Andie, Precious, the pug (Maya Rudolph, “The Emoji Movie”) and Frankie, an English bulldog (Bobby Cannavale, the upcoming “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and TV’s “Mr. Robot”) band together to help save their natural habitat.
The animals also get a big boost from a legion of kung fu fighting Chinese mice, led by the fiery Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan, “Kung Fu Panda 3” and upcoming “Rush Hour 4”).
Mr. Feng’s crew can’t wait to take down all the greedy, human, corporate honchos who also drove them from the park.
The mice mutiny is one of the funnier moments in “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.” Again, that’s faint praise, but the good news is that at 91 minutes, it’s thankfully not so long to make kids testy, or drive their parents nuts.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Watch This Trailer For "THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.