Somehow, last year, I did not see a single animated movie. I know that in the coming years, with The Boy, I am sure that this will not happen again. So, the first new animated movie to hit theaters in 2014, The Nut Job, opens this weekend, and I thought I would go give it a gander. I knew next to nothing about the film. I saw no trailer, just the poster. I only knew that Will Arnett and Liam Neeson voiced some characters. Basically, I went it with a completely open and blank mind.
The Nut Job follows Surly (Arnett), an outcast squirrel, in his attempt to secure enough nuts for the winter hibernation. Surly and his rat friend Buddy spy a nut cart. During their attempted heist, two squirrels from The Park are also on a mission. Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Grayson (Brendan Fraser) have been sent by The Park leader Raccoon (Neeson). Their giant oak tree does not have enough food to sustain the animal population. The two teams cause mass chaos as they interfere with each other. The end result is a burnt down stash of food in The Park. Surly is banished to live in the city. He comes across the Nut Shop. The Nut Shop is a front by a mobster and his goons to rob the bank across the street. Surly and The Park animals devise a plan to rob the nuts while the mobsters devise a plan to rob the bank.
The Nut Job tries to be creative in paralleling the mobsters and their robbery and the animals and their robbery. “Tries” being the key word. Really, The Nut Job just failed. It failed to be original. It failed to be funny. It is not a bad film, but it certainly is not worth your time or money to be seen in theaters. It felt more like a ripoff of Over the Hedge than anything. Raccoon is Vincent the Bear. Surly is RJ. King and the mobsters are Gladys. The animals need to collect food for the winter. I could not believe that I got up on a Saturday morning and drove out into Chesterfield for this extremely average film. I wasted my time. Don’t waste yours.