February 6, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


Review: Nutty film exudes critter charisma

"The Nut Job"

Directed by Peter Lepeniotis

From the beginning, “The Nut Job” entertains its audience with slapstick comedy and explosive energy. Almost every moment of the film is packed full of the adventurous and comedic experiences of one grumpy and independent squirrel, Surly (Will Arnett), and his fellow park animals.

Autumn is rapidly coming to an end, and the animals of Liberty Park must gather enough food to endure the winter. But as the film progresses, the animals soon realize that the food stockpile came up short, and the only way to survive the winter is to depend on Surly because of his fearless mentality. Unfortunately, Surly was recently banished from the park because of reckless behavior that led to the accidental explosion of the already meager food supply. In hopes of gaining respect and his share of the food, Surly uses his resourcefulness and determination to help the other animals find a nut store in the city that could provide the needed food to survive the winter. With all other options exhausted, the animals have no choice but to steal nuts from the store.

Despite a complex plot that may confuse the younger viewers, the audience is sure to find some amusement throughout the film. Numerous explosions, nut jokes and ridiculous interactions occur between the animals and their surroundings. Characters, from a sassy pug to an evil raccoon, coupled with unstoppable friendship make “The Nut Job” an overall fun film. Surly and his best friend, Buddy, a rat (Rob Tinkler), find themselves in all sorts of unlikely places and remind audiences that true friendship and cooperation can last through any situation. When Surly feels like all hope for survival has vanished, Buddy provides him a reassuring hug that motivates Surly to continue the nut-stealing mission.

No matter how trivial “The Nut Job” seems on the surface, it will leave the audience satisfied. While the film lacks sophistication in its overall presentation, “The Nut Job” introduces a variety of interesting, hilarious and extremely nutty characters that may leave the audience members with a greater appreciation of their family and friends.