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Nut Job, The (AF)


Stars: Voices: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Liam Neeson, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Sarah Gadon, Rob Tinkler

Director: Peter Lepeniotis

Should you have the misfortune to have to accompany children to see this loud, brash and unsubtle mishmash of dumb comedy and unsubtle slapstick, make friends with your GP and persuade him/her to prescribe you a strong sleeping tablet. Than ask the kids to wake you for the end credits which, far too late to save the animated saga, features South Korean hit-maker Psy performing an animated version of his international hit ‘Gangnam Style’. It’s good fun but far too late to save the show.

The story, should you wish to suffer it, finds a bunch of squirrels happily living in the fictional, Manhattan style Liberty Park in Oakton City. Surly Squirrel, gratingly voiced by Will Arnett, causes a fire, which destroys the rodents’ supply of nuts for the winter and as a result he’s banished by the rodent boss Raccoon (voiced by Liam Neeson who must be thanking his lucky nuts that he’s not visible as himself). Which is when the second story strand kicks in. Surly and Co. find the city nut shop only to find it’s being used as a cover for a bank robbery to be carried out by human criminals.

Cue a cornucopia of corn far higher than the largest elephant’s eye you can imagine as the rodents, including urban street rats with less charm than an inland revenue inspector, go head to head (metaphorically speaking, of course) with the Bad Guys. Result, “No glory” as the press notes have it, simply a hash of gaudy noise and action that make ‘Tom and Jerry’ seem intellectual by comparison and clearly designed to please very easily satisfied kids.

However, there is one genuinely fascinating aspect about this eminently forgettable offering

How many weeks see the release of three movies featuring a raccoon: Guardians of the Galaxy starred Rocket and a (genuine) raccoon is briefly glimpsed in Hide Your Smiling Faces. (Adults, however won’t find a great deal to smile about in The Nut Job)

Alan Frank

Canada/South Korea 2013 2013. UK Distributor: Warner. Technicolor.
85 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 Jul 2014