The Secret Life of Pets 2 is Not Very Good

One thing I kind of appreciated about the first Secret Life of Pets movie was its relative focus and simplicity. It may not have been all that original or compelling, but at least it knew what it was doing and didn’t waste your time.

Guess what the second movie did?

Max and Duke’s owner, Katie, marries a man named Chuck and has a kid named Liam. Max develops a fondness for the boy that leads into an obsessive itch, causing Katie to put a dog cone on him. The family takes a trip to a farm, where they meet Rooster, who looks down on Max because of the cone. Meanwhile, Gidget loses Max’s favorite toy and Snowball sets out on a quest to rescue a white tiger from an abusive circus owner.

Way too much stuff happens in this movie. Each of these plots clash against each other rather than adding onto or complimenting each other in any way. Why does a grounded story about a dog learning to let go of his worries about his owner have to be mixed with a weird action plot about rescuing a white tiger?

Sad thing is, both of these plots had a lot of potential to be good. If the plot with Max, Rooster and Liam on the farm were the exclusive focus of the movie, you could’ve had a fairly cute and heartwarming family movie. Maybe explore themes of anxiety and how to not let it control your life and how to respect someone’s feelings of anxiety and still help them act in spite of them. That could have been a great idea for a movie about pets!

But no. That might be too boring for the kids. You gotta have a weird action movie plotline with the bunny trying to be a super hero and a white lion. Who needs substance when you could have spectacle?

In terms of animation… do I even need to say anything at this point? It may as well be a copy-paste from the first movie. Nothing is improved or added onto. It’s the same style and the same quality. Neither of which are all that exceptional.

And the music is more of the same. Generic background tracks and insert pop songs. You know the drill. It’s as lifeless as this point has become over the course of this marathon.

Overall, Secret Life of Pets 2 is pretty disappointing. Not because I had high expectations going into it, but because it had so much potential and wasted all of it. This could have been a great movie. But in the end, it’s just another piece of Illumination mediocrity.

Just one left… Then I may lay down this boulder and move on with my life.

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