The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017)

(In French, Video On-Demand, December 2017) There normally wouldn’t be much to say about The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. It is, after all, firmly in-line with the current crop of B-tier animated movies for kids: animal protagonists, frantic action sequences, song-and-dance numbers, and so on as if it was rolling down an assembly line. Watch it with the kids for the cuteness, skip credits, the end. This being said, two or three things are worth mentioning … the first being that the sequel does feel slightly better than the original. In fact, The Nut Job 2 spends its first few minutes literally blowing up the conclusion of the first film, moving the protagonist toward self-sufficiency rather than the simplistic treasure trove obtained at the end of the first film. This sense of more complex issues shouldn’t be seen as absolute (after all, this is a one of those kids’ movies where the antagonist is a corrupt mayor/land developer), but it does make the series advance forward ever so slightly. Some of the gags do land effectively, and the madcap pacing of the action sequences works if you like that kind of thing. While I don’t often comment on French dubs of movies, there is one glaring irritant in the Canadian-French version of The Nut Job 2 that needs to be mentioned: They actually translate the word “cute” as … well, cute. This is lazy and ludicrous, especially when perfectly good French alternatives along the lines of mignon, chou or joli already exist. Ugh. But never mind. At least the credits aren’t a singalong version Gangnam Style like in the first one.

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