The Nut Job
Time Out says
After unwittingly causing a fire which destroys the park animals’ food supply for the winter ahead, maverick squirrel Surly (Will Arnett) is shamed into thinking less about himself and more about others in this painless, largely unremarkable animated feature.
Set in a generic 1950s American suburbia, it glances towards adult appeal by tasking Surly and his furry compadres with a raid on a nut shop, which is being used by a criminal gang aiming to tunnel into a nearby bank. The filmmakers don’t work the heist-movie parody too hard, since pretty much everything in this South Korean co-production is slightly undercooked, lacking the same degree of sprightly wit or dramatic punch regularly found in A-list studio product.
Still, grown-ups will pick up on how the film encourages scepticism towards the motives of our self-proclaimed leaders (in this instance Liam Neeson’s pompous alpha-racoon). Arnett’s frisky protagonist isn’t as likeable as he thinks he is, but Maya Rudolph’s delicious voicing of Precious, the crooks’ high-spirited mascot pug, proves a reliable scene-stealer. Adequate for a wet afternoon. T