The Secret Life of Pets

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The title of this movie is pretty self-explanatory. What do pets do when their owners are away? A lot, apparently.

Max, an adorable little dog, had a great life with his mistress Katie. One day, Katie returned with another dog by the name of Duke. Max was expected to share his home with Duke, a situation that did not sit well with Max. Unfortunately, the hostility between the two dogs resulted in them getting caught in an adventure and as one can expect from a feel good, formulaic movie, must work together to overcome obstacles and find their way home.

Watching this movie in the cinema made me feel totally alone because everyone seemed to be laughing and enjoying themselves. Sure, there were a few genuinely funny moments, but for most parts the movie trudges along predictably.

Okay, there were good things in this movie. The voice acting is great. Louis C.K. as Max, Kevin Hart as Snowball, and Lake Bell as Chloe are among the few that did their parts well. There were creative ‘fight’ scenes, and the climax (reminiscent of a scene from the 2006 Casino Royale movie) was gripping. Still, it left me feeling rather unimpressed.

Perhaps, the movie just does not appeal to my sense of humour. Judging from the amount of laughter at a scene of a prim and proper-looking poodle listening to heavy metal music, I gathered that it was my humour that was off. If you enjoy seeing a cute rabbit being psychopathic, you will probably enjoy this movie. Unfortunately, I don’t, which meant that once you look through the animations and the jokes, there really isn’t much of a story to savour. There was no grand message, no heart-tugging scenes, or character development. The movie even ended with a saccharine montage of owners cuddling their beloved pets, and yet I found myself feeling like I couldn’t care less about the animals on screen.

But then again, I suppose I have been harsh. As far as lighthearted animated movies go, Secret Life of Pets was not terrible, especially for kids (although quite a few adults sing praises of it). It was too much for me to hope that this would be another Zootopia, wasn’t it?

Well, at least I should be thankful that it wasn’t another Ice Age sequel.

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