The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
Title: The Secret Life of Pets 2
Genre: Adventure|Animation|Comedy |
Runtime: 86 min
Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford
Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.
A DECENT SECULAR TO FUN LOVING ANIMATION ADVENTURE
Illumination has done a decent run with their movies, such as the Despicable Me movies and Dr. Seuss’ remakes, with this secular to their 2016 film of the same name, they continue the story where we follow the dog Max and his new-found friends from the last adventure where they now go on a complex adventure which handles the old philosopher question about growing up and letting go of control.
With the film starting up with different plotlines it is very hard to pinpoint where the story is going while you are watching, I feel like that it’s both took me out of the story meanwhile also made me pay more attention. It’s very hard for me to express what I think about it, but I must admit that it evolved to something very good in the end where the different plots go to together in one crazy, but a good ending, for a lighthearted animation adventure of course.
The characters feel simple but real in that way you can relate to them. What I mean by that, for example, is how Max worrying about Liam. The movie starts with Max narrating how his owner meets a man, fall in love, marry, get pregnant and start a new family. Max basically is constantly worrying about Liam surviving the dangerous world outside of the apartment and how he can help him. In the end, after his thrilling adventure, he understands that the best he can do is let Liam go and experience the world on his own because that is the only way to learn and go on.
I really liked the actors, they really showed the emotion through the animated characters, giving both the film´s dogs and humans a relatable feel. Voice acting is a business that often doesn´t get the credit that they deserve, it´s the big beautiful movie actors that usually get most of the praise when it’s come to analyzing the business. Even though I don´t completely agree with the way the story went throughout the whole film, I really liked how the ensemble approached their roles. They really flexed their acting-muscles in this decent movie script.
When it comes to the animation and production overall it was okay, to put it in simple terms. It wasn´t something revolutionary but it was intact with Illumination´s typical 3D animation formula, not too simple to annoy but not too complex to make it not understandable. They often walk the line on the family-friendly genre, but this time I feel they dipped their toes on the sides this time, testing what they can do outside the box while still being inside. That’s why this film felt more complex than the first one. Even though they didn´t succeed fully this time, I appreciate the try and hope they dip more than a toe for the next one.
Richard Bengtsson | Journalist.