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All bark, no bite: Rashid Irani reviews The Secret Life of Pets 2

The freshness is gone in this sequel; there’s less humour, less flavour, less fun. Recommended only for the ardent lover of cats and dogs, and barely even then.

movie reviews Updated: Jun 14, 2019 21:13 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Kevin Hart,The Secret Life of Pets 2,Pets
Max the terrier goes on a farm vacation with his human family and gets into adventures with his four-legged friends.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
  • Direction: Chris Renaud and Jonathan del Val
  • Voices: Patton Oswald, Kevin Hart
  • Rating: 2 / 5

Three years after the animated adventures of our four-legged friends raked in the moolah at the box office, here’s the inevitable sequel. Expectedly, the freshness is gone and the humour isn’t as flavourful or fun.

Max the neurotic terrier (Patton Oswalt, taking over from Louis CK) is still top dog in the menagerie of domestic animals. Now living in harmony with the slobbering mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and their human family, which includes a newborn infant, the New Yorkers head to a farm for a vacation.

The overstuffed script juggles three overlapping subplots. Besides the rural hijinks, there’s a Pomeranian (Jenny Slate) and a tabby (Lake Bell) striving to retrieve a thingamajig from the apartment of an elderly cat-lady. And there’s a buck-toothed bunny (Kevin Hart) determined to rescue a white tiger cub from the clutches of a Russian circus czar.

Lusciously animated, it’s the visuals and peppy tones that help enliven the proceedings. In a casting coup of sorts, Harrison Ford, making his animation feature debut, provides the vocals for a sheepdog named Rooster.

Part 2 of The… Pets is sweet-natured all right, but will likely appeal only to young canine and feline fanciers.

First Published: Jun 14, 2019 21:13 IST