The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

As long as the apple cart is level on the straight and narrow, it’s never in any danger of toppling over and losing its cargo; but hit a dip in the road and all could be lost. Nowhere near the blistering indictment of communism that was The Nut Job, this sequel begins with the residents gorged and lazy, unwilling to fend for themselves any longer when suddenly, the Nut Shop explodes. Surly (Will Arnett) has been repeatedly warned that “easy does not last” but he persists in trying to take the path of least effort, resulting in growling bellies and frustration, so girlfriend Andie (Katherin Heigl) tries to redirect the young ones into following their instincts to gather nuts, much to no avail. When asked, “What’s for breakfast?” she replies, “Whatever you want, just so long as you scrounge for it!” Rather than some backhanded slap at consumerism, this sequel addresses pragmatic bureaucracy of Oakton City’s corrupt Mayor Muldoon, who’s already converted one city park into a profitable golf course and hopes to build a shoddy government-run amusement park on the squirrel’s home site. It harkens back to Aesop with its theme of laziness leading to lethal consequences, and to Ayn Rand’s message that cronyism is as contemptible as communism.