The Secret Life Of Pets 2 voice cast: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Tifffany Haddish, Jenny Slate
The Secret Life Of Pets 2 movie director: Chris Renaud
The Secret Life Of Pets 2 movie rating: Two and a half stars
The first edition of Secret Life of Pets (2016) was a bright, cheerful look at what pets do when their humans go off on their pursuits. We met Max, and his owner Katie, and saw how the former’s life changes when the latter brings in another dog, the huge shaggy Duke. The big lesson in that one was that sharing is caring, and Max’s other pals learnt to be good to each other too, after many exciting adventures.
The new film is more of the same. Max and Duke are both thrown into another churn: Katie is now married and a baby has arrived. How is Max to keep the little one safe? At every step, in the house and out, in the city and on the farm, where the family heads out for a spell, there looms danger.
Meanwhile, there’s an evil circus ringmaster who has kidnapped a tiger. Tomorrow, you will be a rrrrrug, he says, and the poor thing cowers. And in another thread, pretty Gidget who has a thing for Max, has managed to lose his favourite squeaky toy, Busy Bee. Will the tiger be safe from the dastardly kidnapper? Will Busy Bee be found?
Of course, we know the answers. All threads are neatly tied up, though some of the manic running around feels a bit stretched and unsupported after a point.
Still, its pleasant enough, and should make for a satisfying summer holiday outing for the under 8s. The best part of this installment is the wise farm hound who calls himself Rooster (voiced by the gravelly Harrison Ford), who shakes ol’ Max out of his therapy-induced stupor (yes, he has a therapist, like all spoilt Manhattan dogs) and provides him with the most useful life-lesson: anxiety is a bad thing, but it can be overcome.