The Secret Life Of Pets – Talking Animals Are Funny – Review

Courtesy Universal

Courtesy Universal

Louie C.K. provides the voice of Max – the luckiest, happiest and most pampered pooch in New York City.  He shares an unbreakable bond with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), however, all of that is about to be challenged when she brings home another stray dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet).

Duke and Max quickly find themselves trying to establish dominance over the other through a series of tricks, power plays and more, but they take it too far, become separated from the other dogs taking their daily walk, and get captured by Animal Control.

A mad bunny rabbit, Snowball (Kevin Hart), restores their freedom, but demands they become part of his gang of former pets who are pledged to get even with the humans who abandoned them.

Will Max and Duke find their way home?

Can Gidget (Jenny Slate) and the rest of Max’s pals save them from Snowball and his minions?

The Secret Life Of Pets has been sold to audiences as some sort of goofy comedy about what the pets do when owners are at work, but it’s actually more of an action film with plenty of laughs.

While we do get treated to a series of scenes showing us the antics of pets left home alone, it’s the action, chases and superb voice acting talent that become the driving forces in the film.

We already know Hart as one of the funniest men on the planet, but he takes it to another level as the insane bunny rabbit.  It’s a perfect comic set up to make one of the world’s cutest creatures into a plotter of world domination, and Hart excels in making Snowball so megalomaniacal with his outbursts, anger and palpable pain.  This might have been the best casting decision of the film.

Then, Slate almost upstages the rest of the cast as tiny little Gidget, who unleashes a strength she has been hiding beneath her sweet exterior in order to save Max, who she has been crushing on for so long.  Much like Hart unleashing rage, Slate gives some toughness to a fur ball you never would expect to have this kind of courage and determination.

The Secret Life Of Pets is a simple, straight forward movie, but that is part of its charm.  Everyone involved on the creative side never tries to make it more than it is or what they are capable of giving us.

3waffles_sml3 Waffles (Out of 4)

The Secret Life Of Pets is rated PG for action and some rude humor.