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szdaily -> Culture
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
    2017-August-16  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Directed by Cal Brunker, “The Nut Job 2” extends the pranks* of “The Nut Job” (2014).

The film begins in the basement of Nibbler’s Nut Shop, where Surly (Will Arnett), a purple squirrel, is leading his band of fellow squirrels in a midnight pig-out*.

Having been living in the abandoned nut shop, Surly and his cohorts* must form a united front when their beloved Liberty Park is slated to be razed* by Oakton’s corrupt Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) and turned into an amusement park.

Though you can tell how hard the talented Arnett is working to create a character, his dialogue consists of nonstop grousing*. Katherine Heigl returns as Andie, the goody-two-shoes* who’s become the sweet voice of culinary sanity*, urging the squirrels to drop their nut-shop gluttony* and return to hunting down honest acorns.

The rest of the squirrels (who include a few groundhogs* and chipmunks*) form a peanut gallery* of background chatter that rarely allows them to distinguish themselves as characters. In one of the few bits that sparks the comedy to life, Maya Rudolph returns as the voice of Precious, the spunky pug who now has a love interest: Frankie (Bobby Cannavale), a bulldog who’s like a mook* from the neighborhood. He’s got a heart of gold, but he’s also a crude customer who woos her by lapping up* her vomit.

Surly and his best squirrel pal, a rescue rat named Buddy (Tom Kenny), flee through Oakton City, down alleyways and on the bumpers of taxi cabs, trying to improvise a plan to undermine the Mayor. As soon as they come upon Mr. Feng, a white-furred mouse with adorable big eyes who erupts into a martial-arts fury whenever anyone calls him cute, you know who’s going to save the day*.

Jackie Chan, as the voice of Mr. Feng, provides the film with a welcome snap of comic devilry*, and there’s a witty “old-movie” flashback of Feng and his army of warrior mice in formation like soldiers. (SD-Agencies)

 

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