Weak and lacking self awareness, this is not a film to continue a franchise, but a film to change one
Stemming from the success of the Despicable Me franchise, The Secret Life Of Pets used the adorableness of well natured house creatures, the lovable auror of animated animals, and an excellent voice cast with a particularly engaging story that hit very close to home. However, the second instalment has less instant material to power through, offering instead a strangely anthologic output with far less impetus to work on such a relatable level.
Max (Patton Oswalt) a Jack Russell living happily in an upmarket flat in New York with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper), is disrupted by a baby introducing itself to the family dynamic. Now with a new person to protect, Max begins to worry about anything and everything, attempting to keep baby Liam safe from harm.
The cinematic side of the production feels intensely scaled down, almost to the level of a Netflix equivalent television show, rather than the feature film that it actually is. There’s a feeling of a loss of individuality and product, leading the feature down a far more generic path than perhaps it started off with.
There’s very little to actually comment on, with every element scaling down other than the voice performances and the animation quality. It only enhances the films struggles, and highlights them to an otherwise expecting audience. It very much feels like The Secret Life Of Pets 2 was intended to run on its predecessors coat tails, and that’s a terrible place to start.
Weak and lacking self awareness, this is not a film to continue a franchise, but a film to change one. It was the only outcome the franchise could reach, with essentially all pet tropes used up in the first feature, but in these instances, not making the sequel is often the best choice anyone could make.
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