Review of 'The Secret Life of Pets'

secret_life_of_pets.jpg Max (Louis C.K.) is a pet dog, beloved of his owner who is shocked when she returns one day with another dog, the huge, shaggy Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Jealous that he is now sharing his owner's affection Max seeks to rid himself of Duke but this backfires when they are being walked in the park and they find themselves in the sewers struggling to return to their owner first encountering a gang of sinister cats led by Ozone (Steve Coogan) then, later, the psychopathic bunny rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) and his gang of anti-human animals. When Gidget (Jenny Slate), a neighbouring dog who has a crush on Max, notices that he is missing she sets out to find him with the help of a hawk named Tiberius (Albert Brooks)…but New York is very big place.

The biggest disappointment here is that the trailer undoubtedly contains the best part of the good jokes in this film showing what the pets get up to when the owners leave. Having said that there is certainly enough here to keep you amused but it does feel as if it drags even at less than 90 minutes long. The animation is typical of Illumination Entertainment - Fun and simple. The characters are amusing but I can't help feeling that I have seen them before and that this is basically a rehash of other movies with a few new jokes thrown in. The plot is complex enough to maintain our interest with the baddies being the most amusing (the bunny is absolutely hilarious). The actions sequences are quite well done but there are also some scenes that promise to be genuinely moving such as where Duke returns to his former owners home, but, unfortunately, any emotional complexities are quickly swept aside. This is typical of the entire movie with it's generally cardboard characters that never really draw you in - Even Max is often cruel and selfish (yes, of course, the story is about his later redemption).

Kids will like this movie but I am not so sure about adults. I looked forward to this movie but I left feeling disappointed.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-12-29

Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney

Studio: Universal Pictures

Year: 2016

Length: 87 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud: