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Bland ‘Nut Job’ sequel forages for a reason to exist

The jokes about dogs eating their own vomit would have been much harder to watch with state-of-the-art animation. Will Arnett voices Surly, a selfish squirrel who learned nothing from the previous movie, growing fat off the spoils of an abandoned nut store while would-be girlfriend Andie (Katherine Heigl) continues to forage in the nearby park. Disaster strikes for the lazier animals, just as a Boss Hogg-like mayor (Bobby Moynihan) wants to destroy the greenery and turn it into a death-trap amusement park. All of these themes have been explored before in much better TV and film, most notably the monorail episode of The Simpsons. A new pack of Chinatown mice are good for some satisfying physical comedy, in a killer-rabbit-from-“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” kind of way. [...] although production company Open Road Films is making these animated films with a small budget that shows in the raw technical quality of the visuals, the character design and production design remain solid. The park and buildings once again have a warm quality that suggests a city with depth, as if someone might be filming a better animated comedy a block or two away. With so much repetitive action, and so much reliance on the plot points of previous films, there is literally no bad time to take a bathroom break during “The Nut Job 2.”

Article by By Peter Hartlaub (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.