The Nut Job (2014) Review

Animation
7

Good

This animated comedy written and directed by Peter Lepeniotis, is an adaptation from his earlier 2005 short film “Surly Squirrel.” The Nut Job is on record for being the largest production that was co-produced in South Korea. From the screenplay’s direction down to the cast “The Nut Job” offeres more to the viewer in the form of action, comedy, and notable actors such as, Will Arnett (Surly), Katherine Heigl (Andie), Liam Neeson (Raccoon), Brendan Fraser (Grayson) and Jeff Dunham (Mole). The story takes place in a small, intimate 1950s town known as OakTown, and is lit with polarizing colors giving the entire movie that seasonal, Autumn feel. The story takes place within the city and the park, with plenty of alleys and rooftops in between.

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Surly: “It’s not going to be easy but we’re talkin’ almonds, pistachios, walnuts and did I mention the peanut brittle?”

A memorable line from the Open Road Films newest movie. The plot follows the adventure of Surly, a loner squirrel whose name embodies his personality, as he scouts for food. Surly, Along with his unwanted companion Buddy, are both members of a community of park animals, who are all searching for the means to survive the oncoming Winter. While the communty bands together under the leadership of Raccoon, Surly has other plans for ensuring his survival… A daring heist of the nut store! There’s something a little fishy with this nut store and if he’s not careful, Surly could find himself “Sleeping With The Fishes!”

thenutjob-liam_neeson_racoonAlthough the main character’s demeanor isn’t that of your typical protagonist, it wasnt hard to understand that sometimes life’s “Hero” isnt the boyscout who’s never placed a foot out of line. I applaud the direction of this film for not sticking to the traditional theme of a hero being perfect, by taking a more relatable view, showing that its never too late to change. This move, In my opinion, allows viewers to feel that anyone is capable of being a hero, which undoubtedly is a lesson needed in today’s society. Another less shocking character profile, is that of Andie, the female, optimistic counterpart. Andie plays the role of the moral conscious throughout the movie. She believes in functioning under rules and regulations and believes that everyone is worth saving, even Surly. There are many other fun and wacky characters that you can grab onto like Precious, the loyal dog of the nut shop or Grayson the known hero who’s a little full of himself. No matter who the viewer gravitates to, they will still feel that sense of a well balanced community. The director of the film made sure to incorporate some of the standard personalities you would likely come across in Surly’s situation.

thenutjob-2The layout of this movie follows a semi- predictable storyline, but also seems to throw a few twists into the mix. For instance, you may think that you have a character’s motivations figured out, until the story forces you to re-evaluate that character’s motives. As far as sceneary, the colors are bold and the music blends in perfectly within each scene, whether there’s an action sequence or a moment of reflection, viewers will be able to emerse themselves in the story. The cinematic features of the music are both inspiring and dynamic.

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I thouroughly enjoyed the pretentious nature of this film, but I must say that as a frequent viewer of animated films, I must admit that some of the scenes are a little too sweet for my taste. This is mostly due to the humor of the film being geared towards a younger audience, while incorporating the important values of teamwork, friendship and redemption to name a few. Accompanied with an entertaining storyline, a not so predictable main character and notable actors, I would recommend this movie for children, pre-teens and anyone wanting to indulge in the light-hearted antics of a rebellious, self endering squirrel. This is a perfect family movie, especially for a younger developing audience. If you’re heading to see this movie, be sure to stick around during the credits for an awesome character performance to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and stick around after the credits for an extra surprise. I would rate this movie 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Surly: “Okay, we get a crew, we break in, but we do it my way…”

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7

Good

Christopher Loi
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