In the 2016 film The Secret Life of Pets, we started to get a glimpse of what our pets might be doing when we are not home. With the sequel to that film, The Secret Life of Pets 2, we get a look at what they are doing not only at home, but also on vacation and on their own as the franchise continues down the winding path of fun.
Max (voiced by Patton Oswalt) has had life-changing events since the first film. His owner, Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper), has married and had a baby. Now Duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet) and Max are living the life with a new baby, a new family and, at least in Max’s case, a pile of new anxiety.
An absolutely hilarious vet visit later, the family is off to the country for a little vacation where Max meets the wise old dog Rooster (voiced by Harrison Ford), who has some advice to try to toughen the city dog up a bit.
While Max, Duke and Rooster are in the country, Snowball (voiced by Kevin Hart) and Daisy (voiced by Tiffany Haddish) are off on their own adventure saving a white tiger from a torturous owner. And, of course, the film finds a way to bring the pets all back together again.
The voice talent in this offering is top-notch, and the writing is snappy and fun during the opening sequences in the city. But the film and humor slow down in a midsection that struggles to keep up with the laughs, though the fun and frivolity, along with some cool action, do return when the pets are all reunited.
The humor lies directly in the hands of some of the funniest people working in show business. Oswalt, Hart, Stonestreet and Haddish are just the beginning of the names behind our featured pets. There’s also Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and Bobby Moynihan, to name just a few, voicing a variety of fun animals. The addition of Ford, in a perfectly cast mentor role, lends a voice of experience and knowledge to the film.
I just wish the rapid-fire pace of the film’s beginning, and the fun of that visit to the vet, continued throughout this offering. It felt like opportunity was left on the roadside.
Pets 2 is a fun film for the young — and the young at heart — that will definitely leave a smile on your face and make you look at your own pet a little differently the next time you leave them alone.
Secret Life of Pets 2 is available On Demand and on DVD beginning Aug. 27. Check your cable system for availability.