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The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Movie Review

Reviewed by on Aug 11, 2017
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check Kidzworld’s review of The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature. Are these animal heroes still on top of their game as they face the ultimate fate?

By: Lynn Barker

In Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, Surly Squirrel (voice of Will Arnett) and his pals are eating like kings when their neighborhood nut shop closes and leaves a ton of nuts behind. The shop burns down but, hey, there are plenty of nuts in their fave park, right? Not if Oakton’s evil mayor has his way. He wants to turn their Liberty Park into a money-making amusement park. Bring on the bulldozers!

Surly, Andie, Precious and Buddy plan to surviveSurly, Andie, Precious and Buddy plan to survive

Full ‘O Nuts!

Surly Squirrel and his park-resident buddies Precious (Maya Rudolph, a pug dog who loves peanut butter), Buddy (Tom Kenny, a loyal rat) and various moles and groundhogs are having an overeating food orgy in the basement of the nut shop that has closed leaving the yummy, nutty inventory behind. Being wise, Andie (Katherine Heigl, a red squirrel), knows that this supply will run out and tries to convince the bunch to continue to forage for nuts in their Liberty Park across the street. When a mole leaves the boiler on all night, the shop explodes into flames!

Andie explains that foraging for food is naturalAndie explains that foraging for food is natural

Evil Mayor Muldoon

Greedy town Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) wants to bulldoze the park and turn it into an unsafe amusement park to make some bucks. His obnoxious, cruel daughter Heather (Isabela Moner) loves the idea and wants to shoot the park’s animal residents with her slingshot. Her dog Frankie (Bobby Cannavale) falls for Precious at first sight and Heather grabs her and takes her home.

Mayor Muldoon and evil Heather open the amusement parkMayor Muldoon and evil Heather open the amusement park

The Food Run

Sure that he can get food for the gang in town, Surly takes Buddy and they unsuccessfully try to gather some popcorn (eaten by pigeons), a donut (eaten by cops), etc. The gang freaks out when they return with zero munchies. Bulldozers start wrecking the park and the gang must decide; fight or run? They fight and creatively wreck the machinery and the construction trailer but Muldoon just hires Gunther (Peter Stormare), a horrible maniac animal control officer, to trap the park animals and “get rid of them”.

Buddy and Surly search for foodBuddy and Surly search for foodCourtesy of Open Road Films

Destruction and Mr. Feng

More destructive machinery is brought in, including explosives, the park is ruined and an unsafe amusement park is built. Andie will check out a park across town as a possible new home while Surly and Buddy will get to the mayor’s house to rescue Precious who is locked up in Heather’s room and refused food or snacks because she doesn’t know how to roll over. On the way to the mansion, Buddy and Surly are trapped by Kung Fu fighting Mr. Feng, a martial arts city mouse who runs a large army of tough mice. Do NOT call Feng cute! He and his gang were once living in a park until they were chased out. Can Surly and Buddy rescue Precious? Will Andie find a new home for the animals? Will Mr. Feng ever agree to join forces with the Liberty Park animals to get rid of the amusement park?

Don't call him cute!Don't call him cute!Courtesy of Open Road Films

Wrapping Up

Stakes are very high in The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature. The bad guys are, well, one-note beyond scary bad and you are actually concerned for the park and its animals. Pace moves very quickly with lots of threatening action and silly jokes. However, there really isn’t anything here that would be that funny to adults or older teens. Dogs eating their own barf hits a low point.

The chipmunks are willing to helpThe chipmunks are willing to helpCourtesy of Open Road Films

It seems that most of the voice actors are just going through the lines without much emotion. The standout exception is Maya Rudolph as the voice of Precious the slobbery, adorable pug dog who hangs out with the park animals. She gives a bit more expression to her pooch character.

Evil Heather is on the warpathEvil Heather is on the warpath

The message, that winning isn’t easy (no kidding?) and working together accomplishes miracles, is solid as is the nature vs. urban development theme. No more paving paradise to put up parking lots! 

Sometimes gathering acorns isn't easySometimes gathering acorns isn't easy

There is enough here to entertain the younger kids but adults won’t get the fun double meaning jokes that we are used to in Pixar films. We can go three stars.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Movie Rating: 3

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Movie PosterThe Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature PosterCourtesy of Open Road Films

See The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you an animal activist? Do you wish there were more urban parks? Do you just like cute animal movies? Leave a nutty comment below!