So I never saw the first Secret Life of Pets film, but I figured it wasn’t too important to have seen it to see this one. This sequel and works because of it’s constantly upbeat energy and consistently funny writing. The characters are so unbelievably lovable too, which is an absolute must with these types of films. Not having seen the first film, and my dislike for some of the Illumination films, like Minions, did cause some apprehension as I went into this, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance.
There is diversity amongst the different characters, which makes things a lot more interesting, I mean while a film with a bunch of happy animals may be cute, it probably wouldn’t be that interesting. Some are happy and upbeat, some are hilariously sassy and dry, and then there’s Harrison Ford’s farm dog, which serves as an older wise role model. All the actors voices fit their characters so well too. Tiffany Haddish as Daisy is just perfect, a great fit. Jenny Slate fits so well into the energetic dream filled Gidget. Kevin Hart makes for a great Snowball, and of course both Oswalt and Stonestreet do a good job with Max and Duke.
I like the different plots going on all at once, typically I wouldn’t like several different things all happening at one time, but the script and characters are able to make it work. Max and Duke spend the majority of the film on a farm with Harrison Ford’s character, and that makes for both fun and some teachable moments. Max grows as a character during this, and it’s handled nicely. Meanwhile, Daisy and Snowball are busy trying to free the sweetest little Tiger. This makes for some funny scenes, and also it’s just a delight to have this Tiger because he’s made to look so freakin adorable. Also, we’re treated to some very amusing scenes with Chloe (who’s got the best comedy is the film) and Gidget. I wanna mention one scene in particular that cracked me up. Gidget walks in on Chloe after she’s had some catnip and she is higher than a kite and that makes for great comedy.
For all the great positives that this film boasts, there is one rather large negative. The villain is very weak, by the numbers, and underdeveloped. I mean every kind of stereotype for a villain is here and there is virtually zero development. Some scenes involving a little background of this character would’ve been nice, it probably would’ve given some more depth. Also, I wanted some more of Harrison Ford’s character. Since he was so good and added some needed depth, I wanted him to have a larger presence than he ended up having. Buy hey if there’s a third film maybe he’ll make another appearance. And even though this film had it’s flaws, I’d welcome a third installment, hopefully they’d keep all the delicious ingredients that made this one good, but improve on some of the flaws.
Overall, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a pretty good film, full of upbeat comedy and effortlessly lovable characters. It’s great for families, but is also enjoyable for adults. So while this is not one of the best animated films ever, it’s a solid hour and a half of fun.