Movie Review: There’s More than 2 Secret Lives of Pets

pets 2
Movie Review: There’s More than 2 Secret Lives of Pets
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 offers a simple, pleasant kind of movie. Sure, it’s another animated sequel. But the good-natured simplicity and earnestness it offers makes it hard to dislike. And it’s also, yes, adorable.

Pets 2 is a charming, if not overly simple time at the cinema. The continuing antics of the animals from its hugely successful 2016 original has been aggressively hyped. The actual story is less than 80 minutes, making it barely feel like a movie.

Jack Russell Terrier dog Max (Patton Oswalt) is dealing with a new stress in his NYC life when his owner has a new baby named Liam. Knowing he needs to protect his kid, his neurotic tendencies mean he must learn to be brave for his family and friends.

This is actually only one of the four main plot lines, with multiple threads that never really intersect. The film’s weakest point is the thin story. Most events are stretched out only to allow for the cutesy jokes in the pets’ ordinary lives.

Pets 2

Photo: Universal Pictures

Having this fragmented, separated plot makes it feel more like a series of Netflix episodes than a movie. But at its most interesting, it gives off the feel of straight to video Disney movies that defined family flicks for most of the early 2000s. Some scenes are indeed heartfelt and funny.

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While far from extraordinary, the film is well produced. The animation quality gives us delightful characters and bright, crisp environments for them to play in. The optimistic tones and script’s honesty are compelling. The ultimate message in trust and bravery are great lessons.

The experience is nothing major, but that doesn’t impede on your ability to enjoy it. The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a great film for young children, and adults can’t complain the ordeal is less than an hour and a half.

Kids also won’t mind that most of the best gags have been spoiled in commercials. It doesn’t live up to the hype or dramatic aspirations of the series’ first, or the cavalcade of trailers that’s come out. But that’s not really a well-kept secret.

The Secret Life of Pets 2
2 out of 4 stars

G, 1hr 25mins. Animated Family Comedy.
Directed by Chris Renaud.
Starring Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper and Harrison Ford.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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