'The Secret Life of Pets 2' Review

Updated on July 1, 2019
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The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a 2019 3D computer animated comedy film produced by Illumination, directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Jonathan del Val, and written by Brian Lynch. It is the sequel to The Secret Life of Pets (2016) and the second feature film in the franchise. The film features the voices of Patton Oswalt (who replaced Louis C.K.), Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, and Harrison Ford.

Max the terrier must cope with some major life changes when his owner gets married and has a baby. When the family takes a trip to the countryside, nervous Max has numerous run-ins with canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses.

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The Secret Life of Pets 2 was another not particularity needed sequel that we were undoubtedly going to get. So how was the film? It wasn't bad. In fact, it was actually pretty good.

They clearly understood what made the first one so good. The mistake of most sequels is that they always try to be bigger and better, and in the case of comedies, funnier. This film had a very simple story that was both funny and effective. The film never begged for laughs which I loved. The film was made for kids, so it definitely has its moments, but for the most part everything flowed very naturally.

The film was far from perfect, but I only had one real problem with it, and it's more of a personal nitpick. The start of the film shows the dogs reacting to the new baby, and their eventual bond. It's a quick introduction that sets things up. I personally would have liked to have seen more of it. I just felt like there was a lot they could have explored, but I understand why they didn't.

Another minor problem I had was actually one of the best parts of the film. The plot was split into three different stories that eventually came together at the end. I thought the story as a whole could have benefited from one central story. With that being said, I loved the fact that they tried to do something different.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 was a very fun film that turned out to be pretty good.

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The voice acting was excellent.

Max's voice actor is now Patton Oswalt (I love him). I noticed the difference at first, but five minutes in I forgot about it.

Kevin Hart was hilarious. He did another excellent job voicing snowball. Tiffany Haddish comes in and voices a new character. I just recently saw (kinda) her in The Lego Movie 2 where she did an excellent job, and here was no different.

Harrison Ford was in the film. He voiced Roster, an old, tough-as-nails dog. He did great and he's Harrison Ford, so of course I love it.

Overall, the voice acting was just as good as the original.

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I would consider the plot to be the weakest part of the film. That's not to say it was bad, but it could have used a little work.

The main story follows Max and Duke as they visit a relative's farm. The story itself wasn't bad, but it would have really helped if it was given a little extra time and focus. Most of the main story revolves around Max's character arc. He's basically a helicopter dog that's afraid of a lot of things, but he learns how to be brave (I think) from Rooster. I just didn't get the full impact of it, and it wasn't as effective as it could have otherwise been.

The second focuses on Snowball and Daisy as they try to save a tiger from the circus. This was definitely my favorite part of the film. It was very entertaining and downright fun to watch.

The third one was by far the weakest. It follows Gidget as she tries to get back Max's toy from the house of a thousand cats. It's not necessarily bad as it was pretty funny, but it feels so irrelevant to the story. Then the ending came and it felt more like a plot device.

Overall, it was fine, but individually, the stories aren't as effective as they could have been. When they're put together, it's a little messy making the entire film miss the mark by a little.

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Overall, I was very happy with the film. It exceeded my expectations by a mile. The story doesn't necessarily hit you were it should, but overall it was nice little fun family film that I had a good time with.

3 stars for The Secret Life of Pets 2

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    © 2019 Royce Proctor

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