The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

The Secret Life of Pets 2
Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
Writer: Brian Lynch
Sequel to: The Secret Life of Pets
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Chris Renaud, Ellie Kemper
Seen on: 4.7.2019

Content Note: ableism

Max (Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) have finally found a good way to live with each other, when their family grows once more: this time, it’s a baby. Max falls in love with the child – and then starts to worry about everything they ever do and all the things that could go wrong. Growing ever more anxious, Max really doesn’t know what do anymore. When the entire family goes to a farm, Max meets the farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford) who tries to help him with his anxiety.

I have rarely seen a sequel that tried so little as The Secret Life of Pets 2. The first one already wasn’t the best film ever, but this one is a definite step down.

The film poster showing a group of dogs sitting on a water tower on a city rooftop, howling at the moon.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 does have its moments – Gidget’s (Jenny Slate) infiltration in the cat lady’s home, for example, or the puppy school. Those were fun bits with a couple of decent jokes like the catching of a laser pointer point making Gidget a cat queen.

But the problem is that this is just one of (at least) three plots that the film has and that never really come together to form a coherent film. It’s more like a series of short films, but a badly curated series because the films don’t share a common theme or underscore each other. They just happen to take place at roughly the same time.

Gidget, Chloe and a couple of other animals, all waring hats with ears, looking fierce.

The main plot is the one I outlined above with Max and his anxiety about the kid, and that plot was so ableist, it was simply ugly and pretty insufferable. Max just needs to toughen up to beat his anxiety, it’s as simple as that. Because mental health is just a question of will power and being “man enough”. Ugh.

Generally it just didn’t feel like they put much effort into the film. There is no passion here, no love. And that makes itself felt way too keenly to make the film really enjoyable.

Max and Duke playing with "their" child.

Summarizing: shrug.

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