I decided to risk it and throw a review of mine I wrote recently out into a bigger shark tank, so here we go.
Just Watched "The Nut Job":
I... Loved...This movie, and I guess that should be no surprise with it
being the average furry bait that it is, and whats not to like about
it? Cartoon animals, Humorous Drama, Evil Sam Elliot! Well apparently a
lot to hate if you ask Rotten tomatoes, that has rated it a 12%... (The
room by Tommy Weisso by the way is 33% in case you wanted a good point
of reference.) But that's their opinion.
Hear that Miriam Bale from the New York Times, what do you know about
critiquing!? Seriously I don't even try to make this happen, it just
seems what ever view point I have, every one else just has an absolutely
juxtaposed opinion. Beginning to make me question my interpretation of
reality around me... That's fine, people have the right to their
opinion.... They can be wrong if they want too!
So lets talk
about the movie, there may be some Spoilers, so if you want just my
impressions on the movie, go down to the TLDR. Now hold on and brace for
The movie is about a squirrel named Surly, who is
less of a protagonist (And like-able character) than the trailers may
have lead us to believe, as his greed and recklessness ends up
destroying the food for all the park animals as winter is coming. To the
movies credit, the opening scene while fast paced and resembling the
focus of an ADHD child, starts the movies conflict and establishes the
characters roles quickly without being heavy on exposition. we are
quickly shown that Surly is greedy and has no interest in the well being
of the other park animals. Making his persecution and exile
understandable and the emotion of it feeling unforced upon the viewer.
This all comes together quickly and leads into an admittedly emotional
scene of Surly being sent into the city to fend for himself as his rat
friend continually refuses to let him go alone.
By the way, the rat, very important, but I'll get to that.
While all this was going on, at the same time the movie establishes a
secondary plot having to do with early 1930's mobsters who run the
peanut cart as a cover. Immediately you may be thinking this is either
the most stupid or most amazing plot ever, and you would be right. While
the human characters are not entirely important to the vastly more significant main plot of starving park animals, they do drive the events
forward through the movie as their cover peanut business is the target
of Surly's end goal. This is played well as it matches Surly's actions
to that of the mobsters both planning their heists often at the same
time as well as playing out similar actions. We get some back story on
the mob members through events that are often giving openings for the
animals to get access to the building as well as more subtle character
development on how Surly thinks in comparison to these "bad men".
And this is where I hear a large portion of complaints from other
reviewers, that the movie is stretched and cluttered. While yeah it does
seem unfocused and high paced through out the movie, this felt well
handled to me. We are constantly getting small character establishments
through all the rapid events happening, instead of large dumps of
character development placed between scenes. To some this may be hard to
keep up with or annoying do to lack of pacing, but given its target
audience it seemed to handle this just fine, with the supporting cast
getting as much development as the main character.
comes to the supporting cast I have to point out the Rat. Seeming to be a
rather non important silent side kick type for most the movie, I feel
he is one of the more important characters. Surly constantly mistreats,
pushes aside, and disregards Rat and yet he refuses to leave Surlys
side. While very My Little Pony-Esq of a lesson on friendship and
loyalty and all that other stuff that risks giving me diabetes, its
handled well as both a Downfall and saving grace for Surly as a
character when everything starts to get out of hand and pull itself back together.
Now I feel I may be obligated to mention the other
squirrel for this movie, or risk being attacked by a fan base of
rodentia fanatic furs. The second main character is Andie, a red furred
female squirrel, and while she is obviously the female main role, she
seems to have the least development as a character. She really doesn't
seem to have much of a role aside for being the thing that keeps Surlys
story linked to the park. making him work with them to feed the rest of
the animals with the nuts he found in the city. While she is often the
one acting as a defense for him, we don't really know why. It's not
hinted that there is any romance between them and she more forces him
into a deal to share with the park and doesn't seem to have interest in
him coming back as part of it.
Well all that aside, this deal
doesn't sit well with Raccoon, Who aside from not being important enough
for a name, also plays our primary antagonist for the movie. Running
the animals like a mayor of a town, he wants the heist to fail so that
the animals will stay hungry and guaranty his control over the park. So
Tom Nook, I mean Raccoon, begins plans to sabotage Surly's Heist. Which
leads to the normal mistrust, action chase, stolen MacGuffin, emotional
sacrifice scenes that follows and ends with the usual stock footage
plot. The mobsters are arrested, the nuts fall into the park from a
water fall, surly is dead but not really after Rat has a tearful moment,
and Surly says "See you next time on The Nut Job 2!"
still with me through that I apologize for wasting your time on such
pointless things as "analyses" and "deconstruction", for a kids movie.
But, now for my final thoughts.
Its a charming
movie, with a few flaws. Some can't forgive a few "immature humor"
moments, but hey its for kids. Also I heard a lot of complaints of its
use of Nut puns..... Well you just don't belong here! Aside that it is
both funny with sad little moments that will make you feel for the
characters. I enjoyed the character design greatly, unlike over the
hedge which looked like fur suits, These while cartoon like, still look
proportionately like squirrels, and most the other varied animals.....
Except that one mouse. But, I couldn't ignore an issue with raccoons
tale! While the other characters had tails that looked like fur fluff,
raccoons jetted out and looked solid. It seemed like they didn't fully
finish the renders or designs of some characters or parts so they ended
up looking stiff, or having a flat texture for fur. Lastly the story,
While not having the same moral lesson or social commentary of movies
like Wreck it Ralph or Shrek, does have the main character learn a lesson
of recognizing a friend and looking out for the well being of a
community. All together with minor issues its a fun movie to watch and a
great movie for those furs out there that liked Over he Hedge, cause really, that's what it is.
Till the next flocking movie,