THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

The Secret Life of Pets—easy on the mind, comical—contains just enough action to provide good entertainment for the child and adult share. The animated acting is solid with good characterization. But, the movie is plagued with the feeling of I’ve seen this before and there is nothing new here. It’s like a story writing formula has been discovered and then worked over and over with different characters and different scenes and different music to create a quick flick to turn a quick buck. The heart is missing in this film…it’s too smart, too brassy, and lacks the necessary human element.

Storyline

The Jack Russell Terrier Max (voice of Louis C.K.) and a newly adopted mongrel named Duke (voice of Eric Stonestreet) get into a dispute about who the owner, Katie (voice of Ellie Kemper), likes best. The dispute escalates as Duke tries to abandon Max in an alley with some dangerous alley cats.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney for their directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Janet Healy and Christopher Meledandri for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Snowball (voice of Kevin Hart), Gidget (voice of Jenny Slate), Tiberius (voice of Albert Brooks), Chloe (voice of Lake Bell), Pops (voice of Dana Carvey), and Buddy (voice of Hannibal Buress).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a fair to middling child/adult share film. Despite the flaws, it has enough worth to stand on its own.

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Ben Meyers

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