Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, this story follows their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is humorously delightful and a fun-filled adventure! Not simply a rehash of the first movie, The Secret Life of Pets, the story continues with new characters as well as old favorites, and a few new villains too.
One of the new characters, Rooster, a large farm dog, is voiced by none other than Harrison Ford. He gives Rooster a gruff manner but with a protective nature for the farm animals. He helps Max go after one of the sheep that has wandered off because he cares. He also teaches Max how to overcome his fear, by first not acting afraid in the face of danger and then by building courage from there. The loyalty of the various characters to one another is a commendable element in the movie. The kids loved this imaginative picture at the screening I attended. When Chloe the cat made various noises like purrs, meows, and other noises, along with funny faces while on catnip, a little girl in the audience chuckled with delight.
Max and Duke live with Katie, newly married to Chuck. When baby Liam comes along several months later, the dogs are apprehensive at first over this new little human being, but then they come to love the baby. Little Liam puts his arms around Max and hugs him, sleeps with him, and even starts acting like him, lapping up milk from a dog dish. He also tells Max he loves him. Max takes on the role of Liam’s protector, doing noble deeds such as keeping the toddler from grabbing old bubblegum from a pole in the city and chewing on it. In other ways too he keeps Liam from harm’s way. Other plot points include Gidget the cat rescuing Max’s favorite bouncing ball toy, Busy Bee, from a large group of cats when the ball is accidentally bounced into their home.
And Snowball the bunny (Kevin Hart) is always entertaining, singing a rap song as well as using his martial arts against an evil monkey. Their fight scene has to be seen to be appreciated. Another sub-plot involves the various animals joining forces to rescue Hu, a cub Tiger, from the clutches of an evil circus owner who is mean with his whip.
Due to a harsh word in the movie and a lot of fighting (even though it’s a fantasy movie about animals), we are awarding this awesome animated film our Dove Seal for Ages 12+, the same rating we gave the first film. However, parents should consult our contest listing as there are parents out there who will be fine with their children a bit under 12 watching it. Just a note of caution as it is rated PG. The loyalty various characters display as well as the characters going out on a limb (literally) to help other characters is remarkable and noteworthy. We see dogs that will remind us of our own pets—chasing balls, scratching themselves, urinating on a tree, etc. And Liam’s parents cry when Liam attends his first day of school—something many parents may recall possibly with a tear in their eyes.
The Dove Take:
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a great movie experience for families because it captures the habits and loyalty of dogs in a realistic yet funny way.