We all can agree that our pets do play an essential role in our lives; for some, they substitute the children someone can’t have, for people with disability service dogs, especially, are the ones that guide them through their daily life. There are so many instances we can bring up when our beloved animals do the things sometimes people are incapable of due to a lack of patience and discipline. “The Secret Life of Pets” may not tackle one of those aspects we would love to see more often rather than just a bunch of pets running around to entertain each other. But it plays its part in a way to show the kids the way of growing, again, we adults are mostly too busy to help navigate them through.
Max (voiced by Patton Oswalt), this time, has an addition in his family – a new baby named Liam. Of course, he narrates the film by introducing us to Chuck (voiced by Pete Holmes) who becomes his and Duke’s (Eric Stonestreet) owner’s, Katie’s (Ellie Kemper), husband. As the family is big enough, Max learns new responsibilities, but to not be beaten in between by a little baby. As the dog realizes its important role in Liam’s life, he is yet to revisit his old fears and the courage that sometimes is not in the place where it needs to be. But things change when he travels to the farm where he meets an old Welsh Sheepdog named Rooster (voiced by the legendary Harrison Ford), who discovers in Max a version of him our little hero had known nothing about.
While Max is on his quest, his friends are battling with an abusive circus owner, Sergei (voiced by Nick Kroll), to save the harmless and absolutely adorable Hu and Daisy. All that happens instantly which leaves the children in awe, and of course, deliver some funny scenes for adults, which of course, cannot be ignored. However, there is something “Secret Life of Pets 2” is missing to turn it into a successful piece – and that is something I would like to highlight next.
Chris Renaud has done a great job as a director with the first part of “Pets”, and did the same with the next one, and, with Jonathan del Val as a co-director. However, the screenplay is lacking that necessary excitement to force the audience to watch it all over again. That’s, I guess, the most important thing when you don’t want to feel tortured when the children demand a rematch but the adults will find it a bit uneventful, to begin with. But let’s not forget that the main audience of the film are the little ones who are not so demanding. Because despite all its faults, the film once again delivers an important lesson to children about bravery, taking risks, and never being fearful in the face of danger.
In the end, the voice cast did not disappoint. Patton Oswalt as Max, Eric Stonestreet as Duke, Kevin Heart as Snowball, Jenny Slate as Gidget, Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, Lake Bell as Chloe, Nick Kross as Sergei, and the great Harrison Ford as Rooster did a fine job by giving their voice to the most beloved characters that certainly will be loved no matter in what place of cinematic history the piece itself may end up. All these are just the future while the current reality is – do not worry much of critics, whether we loved it or not. At the end of the day, it’s up to you what you decide – whether it’s likable or not. And that’s the most important choice you have to make, we have no rights to take away from you the ability to enjoy and admire “The Secret Life of Pets 2” the way it really should be.