REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets – Cuddly, Version of Training Day
Thefanboyseo.com dishes out the review for the animated film The Secret Life of Pets featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart.
In the heart of Manhattan, a pampered Terrier, Max, has an ideal relationship with his adopted owner, Katie. Until big-hearted Katie brings home another rescue—a giant, fluffy, unruly mongrel named Duke. Max is stunned when Katie tells him Duke’s his new brother, especially when Duke immediately takes liberties with Max’s toys and bed, assuming that he and his new brother are going to share this comfortable life together.
As insecure Max tries to hold on to his turf, Duke—who’s really a sweet dog that’s been through rough times—doesn’t understand Max’s rebuff and feels anxious that Max is trying to get rid of him. The one thing Duke knows is that he can’t go back to the pound from which he just barely escaped.
This conflict escalates out into the streets, eventually landing them locked up in an animal control van and on their way to the pound. But when an adorable, but deranged, bunny named Snowball—who’s the leader of a gang of former pets abandoned by their owners, who call themselves the Flushed Pets—breaks into the van to rescue one of his gang, Max and Duke see their chance and negotiate their freedom.
In exchange, Snowball demands that they serve him in his army of Flushed Pets and live with them in their lair in the sewers—plotting revenge on the humans that abandoned them.
Once Snowball discovers Max and Duke have an owner they love and live in the lap of luxury, he unleashes his gang to pursue them throughout New York City. Forced to tap into their primal instincts to survive, these unlikely new brothers must navigate the wilds of the urban jungle and make it home safe…all before Katie returns.
Yeah, maybe the Training Day was too much but you have to admit it draws some parallels. Like how everything starts the moment the Katie leaves the house and ends with her return. The film makes sure that we all know that, and it really does because these are pets and not wild animals.
Voice work is excellent in this film as we get to see the actors and actresses get to do with their own thing and show themselves through the pets they portray. We have to give the cake to Kevin Hart who plays Snowball the bunny in the movie.
As a furious, energetic and rebellious bunny, Hart manages to steal the show whenever he appears. I like the appeal too of a bunny leading a cadre of “flushed” pets who wind up in the sewers.
One of my barometers for an animated movie is the feels they provide and this one is average. I guess I did feel bad for Duke at some point in the movie. Dogs, after all, don’t have a clear concept of death and time. Woops, spoiler alert I guess. Now going back to the point, the movie is 70% fun and laughs and 30% drama. Pretty good numbers if your demographic is for kids.
Music and scoring was great, visuals were nice and its 3D optional OK. No need to go and get 3D tickets if you don’t want to. You are not missing out on anything.
The themes of loyalty and acceptance plays hard in this film and I’m not pretty sure if kids will have any real takeaway from this. As a movie fan, I am just satisfied seeing a gung-ho pomeranian riding a hawk and kicking ass like there’s no tomorrow.
The Secret Life of Pets opens today from United International Pictures and Columbia Pictures