Secret Life of Pets 2
Jacob Richardson | 19/06/2019
This animated sequel has about a million different plot threads, but will make your kids laugh.
Max (Patton Oswalt) has an easy life. But that life is thrown into turmoil when his family is blessed with a human baby. Max is terrified that the baby will come to harm, and this is exacerbated by a family holiday to a farm. His constant panic is allayed somewhat by the advice of an elderly dog Rooster (Harrison Ford), who teaches him to let go. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) finds herself in trouble when she loses a dog toy, and she sets off on a mission to retrieve it. Snowball (Kevin Hart) finds himself on a mission to save a tiger cub.
Much like the first installation of the franchise, Secret Life of Pets 2 does wonders with its animal cast in the animation department. In this world, every animal is just about as cute and cuddly as can be. Alas, the story tends to let it down.
Pets 2 is jam packed full of so many different stories that you tend to glaze over; overwhelmed by everything that is happening. One animal has to pretend to be a cat, for some reason. Another tries to save a tiger cub. Why? You won’t know, but to directors Chris Renaud and Jonathan De Val, that’s not important.
No, to them Pets 2 is about having fun, and in many respects (and certainly for kids) this is just that; disingenuous, meaningless fun. Tiffany Haddish is, in particular, spectacularly funny as Daisy, constantly barraging us with exposition. Many of the jokes do actually land, and when they do, even as an adult, you’ll find yourself chuckling along; particularly if you have pets.
Towards the end, Pets 2 starts to veer toward animated action, and begins to go off the rails a little bit. This franchise is at its best when it is a fun and funny take on the place of pets in modern life, and when it acts as a reflection of the foibles of their owners. For the most part, Pets 2 manages to hit this sweet spot in terms of easy comedy; if only it were more focused, the story could have matched that.
Secret Life of Pets 2 is just as blatantly confusing as it is easily, calmingly funny.