DVDpendence . videophile

Nut Job


With voices by Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl. Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Liam Neeson 

Written by Peter Lepeniotis & Lorne Cameron
Directed by Peter Lepeniotis

Based on writer-director Lepeniotis's 2005 short animated film Surly Squirrel (which is in the DVD special features), this furry tale is set around a public city park where all of the animals from squirrels to gophers have to scramble to get enough food stored for the coming winter.  But, the independent Surly the squirrel inadvertently lead to the entire stockpile being destroyed.  He is exiled, but end up working with some of his fellow park inhabitants to raid a nut store.  The shop is however a front for a mob gang planning to rob a bank. 

With dangers going beyond the gangsters, there is also a pug (the dog of a gangster’s girlfriend, who ends up becoming Surly’s minion), scruffy rats, and internal double-crossers to deal with.  You can’t have a movie like this without characters undergoing a turnaround in their attitude, depiction of heroism, loyalty, a villain (or two) defeated, a romantic interest won over by redemption and of course, comedy (especially physical, including the obligatory toilet humour).

Fun, silly, but above all action-packed, this may not be a Disney / Pixar production, but will be as entertaining for the youngsters as those movies.  

If you’re perplexed at the presence of Psy’s oversaturated Gangnam Style in the movie beyond just a song inclusion (even having him animated in the end credits), the movie is in fact a South Korean co-production.  The Korean link to American animation is of course nothing new, with animated work for popular TV shows like The Simpsons completed there for years.

3 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multiple Viewing Potential
B: Deserves Another Look
C: Once Should Suffice

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