The Nut Job

Tonight I took the youngest to see The Nut Job.

We’d been looking forward to it–she, because she just likes going to movies, me, because I was hoping it would jog loose some good story fodder for Pine Nuts and Honey. As a pantser, I rarely have all the hijinks worked out at the start of the project, and I’m always looking for stuff to up the ante with.

Well, I won’t say I was disappointed. It was cute, there were some clever pop culture references, but that was about it. The main character was kind of unlikable and, because I didn’t care about him, I also didn’t care about his redemption in the end.

Most of the characters were actually caricatures. The dumb sidekick, the tough heroine, the ‘hero’ who is actually dumb as rock and a coward, fart jokes, burp jokes, the evil power-hungry leader who is out to get the main character, cop/donut jokes. The human villains were as 2-D as you could make them in a 3-D movie. Even the plot had nothing new, not even a new treatment of an old idea. (Yes, they did the tail-in-the-mousetrap gag. *rolleyes*)

I was reading one of Chuck Wendig’s writing books and I wish the guys who had written this had read it before they put the movie together. Because, to be honest, they broke every ‘rule’ that Chuck sets out in his books. In fact, the only character that caught me at all was a fat, red cardinal with a bad attitude. Since I know that they are cranky in real life, it was entertaining to watch them capture that personality in the character of the film. The fact that he resembled the red bird from Angry Birds upped the hilarity factor, and they actually played that one right, leaving the audience in a ‘did they or didn’t they’ situation, where you spent most of the movie wondering if the Angry Birds reference was an accident or not. (It wasn’t, and about 3/4 of the way through the movie, they stick him in a kind of slingshot and launch him through a window–almost the best part of the whole movie).

If you do go to see it, stay through the credits. The song Gangnam Style plays throughout and all the characters, plus a CG version of Psy, dance right through it. This was better than the movie.

But I’d wait for it to come out on video.

About the author: Kate Lowell

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