The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is a 2017 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Escape from Planet Earth director Cal Brunker and written by Brunker, Bob Barlen and Scott Bindley. A sequel to The Nut Job (2014), it stars the voices of Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan, Katherine Heigl, Bobby Moynihan, Bobby Cannavale, Isabela Moner, Jeff Dunham, and Gabriel Iglesias. Produced by Gulfstream Pictures, Redrover International and ToonBox Entertainment, the film was released theatrically on August 11, 2017, by Open Road Films.
|The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cal Brunker|
by Peter Lepeniotis
|Music by||Heitor Pereira|
|Edited by||Paul Hunter|
|Distributed by||Open Road Films|
|Box office||$65.1 million|
After his relationship with the other animals improved over the past nine months, Surly Squirrel is now loved by Liberty Park's Urban wildlife community, and currently overseeing an all-you-can-eat buffet at Maury's Nut Shop. This worries Andie, as she prefers a more hard-working outlook on life. Despite Surly's reassurances all is well, Maury's Nut Shop is accidentally blown up by Mole after he forgets to cut down pressure from the boiler. Andie takes the opportunity to try getting the animals back to their roots by foraging for food in Liberty Park while Surly and Buddy try to find other food-packed places, but fail each time. Defeated, he and Buddy decide to return to the park.
Meanwhile, Mayor Percival J. Muldoon, the unscrupulous Mayor of Oakton City, relishes in his wealth that comes from profit-making locations across Oakton City. However, he notices Liberty Park never makes money, so he decides to turn it into an Amusement Park named Libertyland to pocket more cash. Surly and Andie discover Muldoon's plot, and Surly convinces the animals to fight back, which they do successfully, and they manage to sabotage the construction worker's efforts to tear down the park.
That night, however, Surly's enjoyment is short-lived when Andie attempts to convince the animals to work hard for food as he believes it can result in disappointment. When the construction workers' foreman tells Muldoon about the animal attacks, he calls an extermination squad led by Gunther to get rid of the animals.
The next day, Surly gets caught in one of Gunther's traps, and the animals are pursued by Muldoon's dog, Frankie, who later falls in love with Precious. Surly and Buddy head out to rescue her while Andie and the rest find a new park.
While searching for Muldoon's car, Surly and Buddy run afowl with a colony of territorial white mice led by Chinese-accented white mouse Mr. Feng. They manage to evade the mice, and find Muldoon's mansion, where they save Precious in the room of Muldoon's bratty daughter, Heather. Precious tells Frankie she is not interested in him, breaking his heart. Surly's recklessness causes Muldoon to shoot Buddy, who falls off a balcony to the street below, and into a coma. Meanwhile, Andie, Jimmy, Johnny, and Jamie find what seems to be a suitable park, but it turns out to be a golf course that almost gets them killed.
A doleful Surly returns with Precious and an unconscious Buddy, reuniting with the others in the ruined remains of the nut shop. While mourning for Buddy, Surly recounts the day he and Buddy met when they were kids when they saved each other; Buddy wakes up thanks to Precious giving him licks. Surly leads the animals to take back the park from Muldoon and his followers during the exclusive opening of Libertyland. Muldoon calls Gunther and his team over to capture them, and Surly is the only one left standing, so he goes to Mr. Feng and his army. While attacking Surly, the latter convinces Feng and the animals must work together regardless of whether they are from the city or a park; this causes Feng to spare him, and agree to help.
Surly and the mice free the animals, and round them up to take back Liberty Park. They manage to overwhelm the humans, destroy all the rides, and attract the attention of the police. Precious finds Frankie, and apologizes to him for what happened earlier while confessing she does care for him, causing Frankie to fall in love with her again. After the pair make up, Heather tries to get Gunther to tranquilize them. But due to the interference of Surly, Andie and Buddy, Gunther shoots Heather, knocking her out while he runs away. Muldoon tries to escape the chaos using a hot air balloon, but Surly and Buddy commandeer a roller coaster to catch up to him. Surly makes it on top of the balloon, and he and Muldoon engage in a long battle that ends with Surly causing Muldoon to fall on top of a bouncy house, and get attacked by Feng and his colony. Muldoon, Heather, and Gunther are arrested for their crimes, and Libertyland is shut down for good.
Several months later, the people help rebuild Liberty Park to its former glory. After the park is rebuilt, Feng and his colony decide to stay in the park, and focus on Tai Chi, Precious and Frankie have puppies, and Surly takes Andie on a ride with Precious to rob a nut cart.
In the post credits scene, Raccoon (the main villain of the first film) is still alive and is swimming back home to get revenge on Surly for defeating him with the sharks pursuing him.
- Will Arnett as Surly, a purple squirrel who was at first loathed by the park's animals, but is now considered a hero for defeating Raccoon in the first film and becomes Andie's boyfriend for helping to save them from a dire food shortage that he had unintentionally caused.
- Justin Felbinger voices a younger Surly.
- Maya Rudolph as Precious, a pug who was formerly owned by bank robbers but is now currently the park animals' loyal friend and protector and Frankie's wife.
- Jackie Chan as Mr. Feng, the Chinese-accented territorial leader of a gang of white street mice, who hates being called cute due to his small size and big eyes.
- Katherine Heigl as Andie, a female compassionate and beautiful red squirrel and Surly's girlfriend.
- Bobby Moynihan as Mayor Percival J. Muldoon, the unscrupulous mayor of Oakton City a sadistic hunter and the father of Heather who plans to replace Liberty Park with a faulty amusement park named Libertyland. Muldoon is also known for his cruelty to animals.
- Bobby Cannavale as Frankie, Heather's former pet French bulldog, who falls in love with Precious. In the end, he becomes her husband.
- Isabela Moner as Heather Muldoon, Mayor Muldoon's spoiled and vociferous daughter.
- Jeff Dunham as Mole, a mole who formerly worked for Raccoon and now works with Andie.
- Gabriel Iglesias as Jimmy, a groundhog who is Johnny and Jamie's brother and the leader of the Bruisers (consisting of him and his siblings).
- Sebastian Maniscalco as Johnny, a groundhog who is Jimmy and Jamie's brother. He was previously voiced by Joe Pingue in the first film.
- Peter Stormare as Gunther, a Swedish-accented deranged animal control officer.
- Kari Wahlgren as Jamie, a groundhog, who is Jimmy and Johnny's sister and additional voices. She was previously voiced by Annick Obonsawin in the first film.
- Robert Tinkler as Redline, a blue mouse whose catchphrase is "We're all gonna die!"
- Julie Lemieux as Li'l Chip, a chipmunk that lives in Liberty Park and additional voices.
- Buddy, Surly's mute rat partner and best friend. In this film, he doesn't talk.
- Josh Robert Thompson as a Construction Foreman that oversees the construction of Libertyland and additional voices.
- Dwayne Hill as Police Officer, a police officer who inspects Liberty Park on opening day and additional voices. He was previously voiced by Scott McCord in the first film.
- Laraine Newman as Daredevil Chipmunk, a chipmunk with a daredevil personality that lives in Liberty Park.
- Cal Brunker as Charming Chipmunk, a chipmunk with a charming personality that lives in Liberty Park.
- Bob Barlen as Handsome Mouse
- Jess Harnell, Fred Tatasciore and Andrew Ortenberg as Animal Control Guys, fellow workers of Gunther who help to round up Surly and the Park Animals.
- Jess Harnell also provides additional voices.
- Greg Chun and Dave Fennoy as Mr. Feng's Mouse Henchmen, white street mice who have brown eyes and fight like Kung fu masters.
- Dave Fennoy also provides additional voices.
On January 23, 2014, The Nut Job 2 was announced with a theatrical release date of January 15, 2016. On April 11, 2016, the release date was pushed back to May 19, 2017. Will Arnett, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph reprised their roles. On May 25, 2016, Heitor Pereira was hired to score the film. Jackie Chan joined the cast as Mr. Feng in July 2016, and Bobby Moynihan, Bobby Cannavale and Peter Stormare also came on board. In December 2016, the film was pushed back again, to August 18, 2017, and in May 2017, it was moved a week forward to August 11, 2017.
The film was released on August 11, 2017, by Open Road Films. The first trailer for the film was released on January 18, 2017. As with the first film, The Weinstein Company handles international distribution.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature was released on Digital on October 31, 2017, and on DVD and Blu Ray on November 14, 2017.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature has grossed $28.4 million in the United States and Canada and $36.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $65.2 million against a production budget of $40 million.
In North America, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature was released alongside Annabelle: Creation and The Glass Castle, and was initially projected to gross $12–14 million from 4,003 theaters in its opening weekend. However, after making just $3 million on its first day (including $330,000 from Thursday previews), expectations were lowered to $8–9 million. It went on to open to $8.3 million, finishing 3rd at the box office and down 68% from the first film's $25.7 million 4-day opening. It currently has the record of the worst opening for a film that opened in over 4,000 theaters (the previous record holder was another animated film, The Emoji Movie, which had an opening of $24.5 million from 4,075 theaters).
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 15%, based on 62 reviews, and an average rating of 3.97/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature may be a slight improvement over its predecessor, but its frantic animated antics still offer minimal entertainment to all but the least discriminating viewers." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based 19 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, an improvement over the first film's "B".
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- Brunker, Cal (8 July 2016). "Peter Stormare plays Gunther the evil animal control nut in #TheNutJob2 #animation @BobBarlen @ToonBoxEntpic.twitter.com/RUs1djIKGV".
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