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Posted at: Jun 14, 2019, 7:39 PM; last updated: Jun 14, 2019, 10:32 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: THE SECRET LIVES OF PETS 2

A disjointed attempt at kid-friendly entertainer

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Film: The Secret Lives of Pets 2

  • Cast: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell
  • Director: Chris Renaud
A disjointed attempt at kid-friendly entertainer
A still from The Secret Lives of Pets 2

Johnson Thomas

This sequel, an animation by Illumination, meant to explore the travails of adorable pets, is rather uninspiring and unenlivening. The slapstick moments fail to produce humour and the narrative becomes so dull and unexciting that it could put even the intended young target audience to sleep.

The first feature focused on the anxiety suffered by a much adored pet when a new born infant joins the family. Director Chris Renaud’s follow-up, tries to dig a little more deeper into the same construct but the result doesn’t have much of an impact even if there are lessons to be learnt.

Lovable terrier Max (voiced by Patton Oswalt) had anxiety pangs when his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) brought home big, shaggy mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet). He feels an even more insecure She marries and has her first child, Liam. Max may have decided to play protector to Liam but his worry about doing a good job manifests in bad habits and nervous tics. They relocate to New York and Katie sensing Max’s anxieties, puts him on a course of behavioural Therapy. However, Max’s encounters with a grizzled, herding dog, Rooster (Harrison Ford), is what lends him courage to overcome his crippling angst.

This film though, is not about Max alone. Lynch’s screenplay adds two other threads to keep the narrative busy with complexities. Unfortunately they don’t mesh together smoothly enough to provide an engaging and entertaining whole. Gidget(Jenny Slate), superhero bunny Snowball (voiced by Kevin Hart), cantankerous cat Chloe (voiced by Lake Bell), pugnacious pug Mel (voiced by Bobby Moynihan), fearless Shih Tzu Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) and determined dachshund Buddy (voiced by Hannibal Buress) round up as other lead players in this jumbled up ensemble.

The writing is witless, the characterisations appear tiresome, narrative seems crowded and there’s a distinct lack in cohesion and coherence. The animation may be faultless but that clearly can’t trump over faulty storytelling technique and limpid craft. This stitching together of unremarkable plot-threads makes for a exacting misadventure!

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