Dan's Review: Cuteness Barely Redeems "The Secret Life of Pets 2"
Jun 08, 2019 12:20AM
● By Dan Metcalf
Patton Oswalt and Harrison Ford in The Secret Life of Pets 2 - © 2019 Universal.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Universal)
Rated PG for some action and rude humor.
Starring (voices of) Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Chris Renaud, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Harrison Ford, Pete Holmes, Tara Strong, Meredith Salenger, Henry Lynch, Garth Jennings.
Written by Brian Lynch.
Directed by Chris Renaud.
There are fewer things in life that induce an “awwww!” response more than kids and pets. We love those critters and remembering childhood pets is one of the most bittersweet emotions we can experience. The Secret Life of Pets 2 draws on those kinds of emotions delivering a solid sequel to 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets.
Patton Oswalt voices Max (replacing “persona non grata” Louis C.K., revelations of his sexual misdeeds), a Jack Russell terrier and pet to Katie (Ellie Kemper), who falls in love with Chuck (Pete Holmes) uniting Duke (Eric Stonestreet), Newfoundland into a simple family living in New York City. Katie and Chuck’s marriage results in the offspring of Liam (Henry Lynch), a cute little toddler who eventually bonds with Max and Duke as beloved childhood pets. Max’s psyche takes a hit when he grows increasingly frightened and overprotective of the little boy, leading to the installment of a “cone of shame” around his neck to prevent nervous over-scratching. Things look up when the family takes a trip to the country and Max meets a Welsh sheepdog named Rooster (Harrison Ford) who teaches the city dog how to relax and be the hero his boy needs. Meanwhile back in the city, the hyperactive rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) teams up with a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), Max’s obese cat neighbor Chloe (Lake Bell) and Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) to save a white tiger from Sergei (Nick Kroll) an evil circus owner.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 works well with Max’s storyline, character development, and his relationship with Rooster. The rest of the film seems like a diversion to allow Hart, Haddish, Bell, and Slate opportunities to engage in silly sight gags and posturing that feels more like filler than anything important. We’re left with an animated feature that is more like two vignettes, one of them more significant than the other.
The positives outweigh the superfluous stuff, allowing The Secret Life of Pets 2 to flourish as a sweet homage to the bond between kids with the furry critters who become part of their family legacy.
"The Secret Life of Pets 2" Trailer