Thursday, July 7, 2016

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets uses the cute, comedic premise that pets have their own lives when humans leave for the day. The story follows Max (Louis C.K.) when his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) brings home a much bigger hound, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Max was previously living a happy life with Katie and his friend: Gidget (Jenny Slate), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), and Mel (Bobby Moynihan). His life is rudely interrupted by his new roommate so he conspires to get rid of him. The two dogs fight and find themselves accosted by cats then captured by Animal Control.

The funniest part of the film is Snowball (Kevin Hart) the white rabbit thrown away by a magician who goes on to lead the legion of flushed pets including gators, cats, lizards, and a tattooed pig. The flushed animals seek revenge against the human race for being discarded and this is the closest the film gets to delivering any sort of message. 

The movie centers around the two dogs and their side adventure though Gidget's quest to save Max introduces plenty of funny side characters like Tiberius (Albert Brooks) the Hawk and Pops (Dana Carvey) the old dog who throws animal parties at his house only to call them off with the sound of the vacuum. There a plenty of humorous moments throughout but the main story is lacking in the emotional depth found in most Pixar movies. Illumination does their best to branch out from the Minions but it has more humor than heart. 

Lookout for the white and fluffy creatures as Gidget and Snowball really still the show from the buddy comedy that is Max and Duke. Kevin Hart does his usual and that is spectacular whereas Louis C.K. does crack some funny jokes as the small dog but doesn't quite reel viewers into the plot. I do wish they had more cute cats as the movie was clearly written by dog lovers.

The movie is funny and cute so it achieves its goal and should be a smash animated hit at the box office this weekend. This year has really shown the breadth of animated features and this will be mentioned as one of the top ones if not the highest grossing. It will face stiff competition against the Pixar sequel on its fourth weekend but I believe bets will bring home quite a high gross with its family friendly fun. 

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