Entertainment » Movies

The Secret Life of Pets 2

by Jason Southerland
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Aug 13, 2019
'The Secret Life Of Pets 2'
'The Secret Life Of Pets 2'  

Available digitally today!

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Like a good episode of Saturday Night Live, "The Secret Life of Pets 2" ricochets between hilarious sketches and sophomoric sets that collectively add up to an enjoyable, but forgettable, movie. This sequel to the delightful 2016 film mimics the narrative structure of the original: Three stories occurring simultaneously that eventually merge into a giant chase scene. What's missing is the emotional connection that lifted the first outing.

After a quick montage of events since we first met Max (voiced by Patton Oswald, taking over from Louis C.K.) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet), the movie splits into its three narratives. Max, Duke and their human family head out to the country for some R&R; Max's sometimes love interest Gidget (Jenny Slate) loses his trusty squeak toy in the crazy cat lady's apartment downstairs and must learn to act like a cat in order to get it back; and Snowball (Kevin Hart), the faux-tough villain turned "house bunny" transforms into Captain Snowball to help new cast member Daisy, a sassy Shih Tzu (voiced by the unmistakable Tiffany Haddish), find and rescue a white tiger from an abusive Circus Owner (Nick Kroll).

What follows is a series of capers, adventures, misadventures, comedy set pieces, and familiar gags that keep both adult and kid audiences giggling. What cat owner doesn't recognize that moment when their keyboard becomes a feline playground (right before tail-whacking the coffee and shorting out the computer)?

The movie is a great escape from the daily grind and mostly keeps the pace moving. Like any good sequel, it's louder, more expansive and has more star cameos. The highlight is Harrison Ford as Rooster, a tough and tender Sheepdog on the farm who schools the young and innocent Max in the ways of the Force... er, the World. It's not far off in tone from his most iconic role, but still retains a freshness that makes him a nice addition to the cast.

When standing next to giants of animated cinema like the "Toy Story" franchise, "The Secret Life of Pets 2" is a confection rather than a meal. But it's not a bad way to spend a summer afternoon.

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