A terrier named Max regularly invites his friends to hang out at his place while his owner is gone, but his quiet life is upended when said owner also takes in Duke, a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes.
Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart
Directed by: Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud
Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, and Brian Lynch
First and foremost, it’s never a bad idea to present the lovable creature in your movie as a baby. Recently Disney did it with Dory in “Finding Dory,” and “The Secret Life of Pets” begins by showing its lead dog Max as a puppy. When the audience sees this adorable puppy they are instantly going to fall in love with him, especially with all the silly things he does. They are also going to see the bond he’s built with his owner Katie.
Their bond is tested when Katie decides to bring home a new dog, Duke. Duke looks like the dog version of Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street, and is definitely different from Max. That difference ultimately leads the pair to be separated from Katie, and on their own adventure in the city. The two make an entertaining tandem, but surprisingly aren’t the comedic stars of the film.
That goes to the other pets particularly the bunch trying to find Max and Duke. This bunch includes a few other dogs, a cat, bird, guinea pig, and hawk. They’re lead by Gidget, who’s extremely motivated to find Max because she’s really in love with him. She starts off kind of quiet, but ends up being the feisty shining star of the movie.
There’s another group of animals that are also pretty funny. They’re animals who happen to dislike pets, and the humans that make animals their pets. This is a pretty interesting concept for this group of creatures. They’re lead by an absolutely crazy bunny named Snowball. He provides some great wacky moments when he crosses paths with Max and Duke.
Early in “The Secret Life of Pets” there are cuts of all kinds of dogs doing hilarious things when their owners leave, as many have seen in the trailers. This sets the stage for many more crazy things done by both pets and the animals who dislike pets. Max is a likable main character, but this movie thrives when there are more pets and animals together. Overall, audiences will like this movie, but pet lovers may love it. They also might keep a closer eye on their pets. A pet lover myself, I give it 3.5 stars.