‘Secret Life of Pets’ is a fun but predictable version of the ‘Toy Story’ films
From the makers of Despicable Me comes The Secret Life of Pets, a fun look at our pets’ lives when we’re not alone. Sadly, Universal’s Illumination offered a third rate plot centered around gags, hopefully not all spoiled by the previews.
Max (Louis C.K.) is the lovable dog of Katie (Ellie Kemper), but life changes when a giant stray named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) is adopted that Max’s world is turned inside out. Fearing his love from Katie has been compromised, Max conspires to have Duke snatched by the dog catcher, but instead ends up on a journey making the pair lifelong friends, partnering with their other friends to avoid a pack of angry and resentful pets led by a very angry rabbit voiced by Kevin Hart.
My main criticism of Despicable Me was that is just wasn’t very original. Cute, funny and entertaining – yes. Original – no.
The Secret Life of Pets is almost shameful. Nearly ever plot point is ripped directly from the Toy Story film that when the Blu-Ray drops expect a YouTube to transfer voices/characters for bizarre mashups and parallel clips.
Max and Duke’s efforts for survival skip the mutual bonding that blossomed between Buzz and Woody at the close of TS1. Instead, the story jumps to the gang trying to evade Lotso, er…Snowball. Adults will not other rip offs from the likes of Zootopia and even the Minions.
Pet owners and kids will still have a great time. In fact, the film is so harmless, repeat viewings may be the norm and Secret Life could have a very strong box office performance. The animal jokes are good, great at times, but many were ruined in the trailers and fans need to stick through the credits to get the “full effect.”
Other voice actors are Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks.
The Secret Life of Pets receives 2 stars out of 5 stars.
All of you pet owners angry with my critique need to reflect on these other films and get over yourself. It was good and you laughed, but we’ve also been bored by seeing the same plot before. Kids will laugh and laugh, so expect the theaters to be jammed packed with kids and exhausted parents.