MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets 2

written by David Steffen

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a 2019 computer-animated children’s comedy by Universal Pictures and Illumination, the sequel to the first movie from 2016 (which was reviewed here). As with the prior film, the cast of the film are pets living in a New York City apartment building, who venture out into the city to have adventures, unbeknownst to their owners.

This one is about… well, honestly that’s hard to pin down in a quick synopsis, because the cast of characters are plit from each other and having separate adventures for most of the movie. Max (Patton Oswalt, rather than the original actor Louis CK) and his newer dog family member Duke (Eric Stonestreet) are now used to each other, but their life is thrown into turmoil when their owner Katy (Ellie Kemper) gets married and has a baby, Liam (Henry Lynch). Max and Duke are apprehensive about the new member of the family at first, but as the child grows Max in particular grows a very close bond with him . When they take a family trip to relatives in the country, Max has his hands full trying to keep the kid safe in a new environment. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) back at home has been tasked with protecting Max’s favorite toy, and soon has to face a cat lady’s mob of semi-feral cats. And a new cast member, a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) enlists the help of the rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart), in helping rescue a captive tiger from a traveling circus.

As the synopsis might suggest, this movie is very scattered, which makes it hard to have a coherent read on the thing as a whole, and as a whole it was hard to really care about the stakes. And, the writing is not as good as the first one–the first one’s plot was not particularly good either, but there was better lines that were probably from standup comic. Overall it was pretty forgettable, there are much better kids movies

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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