Monday, June 17

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Review

The Secret Life of Pets 2
Dir: Chris Renaud and Jonathan del Val
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, and Harrison Ford

I once took care of a small puppy, Bode, for a friend over a long weekend. Bode was a rambunctious little one; he loved running for walks, chasing the ball for what seemed like constant hours, and tugging on the chewing rope to the point that you could almost lift him off the ground. Bode also loved my brand-new swede couch and escaping from the makeshift sleeping pen that I would make for him at night. Needless to say, after a long weekend, my swede couch was never the same.

The Manhattan apartment pets return for more escapades in “The Secret Life of Pets 2”, an easy-going sequel that offers a few laughs for both grown-ups and kids while also quickly occupying the 86-minute running time with an amusing mix of stories. It’s one of those lazy weekend movie excursions that will put a smile on the faces of everyone in the family.

All the animal culprits are back.  Tiny dog Max (Patton Oswalt) is finally friendly with Duke (Eric Stonestreet), the big dog that joined the family in the first film. However, they have some new humans to deal with this time around, one of which is a little baby who Max has grown to love…and over protect from the scary world around them. The fluffy bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart), whose confidence has grown to superhero proportions, also returns, along with other friends, for new adventures that bring them all together to battle an evil circus promoter named Sergei (Nick Kroll).

“The Secret Life of Pets 2” starts off fairly familiar but quickly moves in an interesting direction by separating the storytelling style into something that feels more like an anthology instead of one cohesive storyline. The subjects of each story involve the three best characters from the first film, the tepid Max, the brazen Snowball, and the independent Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate). Each has their own adventures that loop into the climatic finale, it fits nicely together in the end even if it doesn’t connect too well during the journey. Still, the writers do a nice job of giving these three characters a connective feature that has them adopt different personas in order to move the story forward; Gidget must take the form cat in order to invade an apartment filled with felines, Snowball moonlights as a superhero in order to save animals in danger, and Max finds an unlikely mentor in a farm dog named Rooster (Harrison Ford) who has all the qualities Max doesn’t have. 

The conflict for these characters shows up a little too late in the story to really have the menace to make the third act more exciting, but it doesn’t feel like that was a high priority for this film at all. While “The Secret Life of Pets 2” may have a few hiccups along the way, the overall feeling is one that is purely fun. If you are looking for a better review of this movie before your next family cinema adventure…every elementary school child was laughing and cheering throughout this film. For a cartoon sequel, that’s the best review you could have.

Monte’s Rating
3.00 out of 5.00

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