By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
The idea that your dogs and cats run wild and do all sorts of mischievous things while you’re away from home was the funny and clever premise of Universal/Illumination’s 2016 box office animated hit, “The Secret Life of Pets.”
The sequel, “The Secret Life of Pets 2,”
expands on that storyline, but it’s not nearly as paw-some as its predecessor. There are a few new breeds added to the mix like a muscular Welsh Sheepdog named Rooster who is voiced by Harrison Ford (Upcoming, “Call of the Wild”) and Daisy, a feisty Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish, “Night School” and TV’s “The Last O.G.”). There’s even a wild, but loveable white tiger that belongs to a wicked circus owner (Nick Kroll, upcoming, “The Addams Family”).
“Pets 2” still revolves around Max, the adorable Jack Russell Terrier. Patton Oswalt (TV’s “Veronica Mars” and “Happy”) is now the new voice of Max. Oswalt stepped in for C.K. Lewis who was booted amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Max (Oswalt) and his goofy pal Duke, a Newfoundland mix (Eric Stonestreet, TV’s “Modern Family”) have a major situation on their paws. Their owner Katie (Ellie Kemper, TV’s “At Home with Amy Sedaris”) is married now and just had a baby boy. Their quaint New York City apartment was already feeling a bit cramped, but now with little Liam they feel even more squeezed.
Plus, Liam is so rambunctious. Trying to keep up with the little fella is leaving Max a little worn out and feeling left out.
Still, Max knows his role is to protect and serve, so he works hard to keep Liam out of harm’s way. Maybe that’s what’s causing him to be so out of sorts and itching so badly that the vet has prescribed him a protective cone to wear.
Max is also excited about a trip he’s taking with Duke and the family to a farm upstate but wants to make sure his pretty and pampered Pomeranian friend Gidget (Jenny Slate, TV’s “Big Mouth”) takes care of his favorite Busy Bee squeaky toy while he’s away.
Gidget tries, but Busy Bee slips away which forces Gidget to call on her besties, fat cat Chloe (Lake Bell, TV’s “Bless This Mess”) and Buddy a laid-back dachshund, (Hannibal Buress, TV’s “Broad City”) to find the toy. Busy Bee winds up at the apartment of an old, crazy cat lady (Meredith Salenger, TV’s “Happy”). That scene with the hyper cats chasing a laser is funny.
Kevin Hart shines too as the cute, motor-mouth bunny, Snowball. This time Snowball becomes somewhat of a superhero when he’s asked by Daisy (Haddish) to rescue a beautiful, white tiger cub from an evil circus master (Nick Kroll, upcoming, “The Addams Family”).
The farm trip with Rooster (Ford) dishing out some sage advice to Max offers a few chuckles.
Screenwriter Brian Lynch and directors Chris Renaud and Jonathan del Val (“The Secret Life of Pets”) squeeze a lot into the film’s 86 minutes run time.
Still, little ones should enjoy “The Secret Life of Pets 2” for all the shenanigans and silly, kid-friendly, poop and pee-pee jokes if nothing else.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Check Out This Trailer For "THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.