The Secret Life of Pets 2 Movie Review (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

Also in The Secret Life of Pets 2 The focus is once again on the peculiarities and quirks of our beloved pets. And this time they experience even more absurd adventures in a film that is charming and endearing despite its patchwork dramaturgy. We reveal more about this in our review.

Snowball and Daisy become accomplices on a rescue mission.

The plot summary

As soon as the front door closes in the morning, a colorful hustle and bustle begins as the otherwise well-behaved animal roommates go about their actual, very turbulent life, which their owners know little about. In the latest adventure, the secret lives of Max & Co. are once again thrown into disarray when a small human baby suddenly has to be looked after… not only in the raging city, but also on a family vacation in the country, where completely new dangers unexpectedly lurk around every corner . At the same time, things remain exciting in the city: Pomeranian Gidget loses Squeaky Bee, Max’s favorite toy, to a horde of neurotic cats and is forced to go on a daring undercover mission with the help of the super-cool Chloe… as a supposed cat! And the little rabbit Snowball faces a dangerous rescue maneuver as superhero Captain Snowball – when the Shih Tzu dog Daisy calls him for reinforcements to free a white tiger from the clutches of an evil circus owner. True to the motto “With great power comes great fluffiness”.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Movie Meaning & ending

In a way, the production company Illumination is like the Blumhouse of animated films. Both companies work with (by their standards) minimal budgets and, conversely, achieve particularly high results at the box office. Of course, there’s still a huge difference whether a “Get Out” costs $ 4 million or a “Ma” costs $5 million, while “Pets” costs $75 million or “Despicable Me” costs $69 million. But compared to the competition, these are peanuts. A current example: “Toy Story 4”, which will be released in our cinemas in August, cost around three times the production costs. The fact that Illumination can keep up with the big players in the business in terms of success – regardless of whether we mean the company with the castle or the one with the crescent moon in the logo – is mainly due to the fact that the stories of the “Minions” makers are primarily different from the competition aimed at a young audience. And let’s be honest: with such a high level of animation, you only really notice the subtleties in design and layout once you’re out of the woodwork. The best example of Illumination’s successful concept is the sequel to the megahit “Pets”: Announced with a hellishly entertaining trailer, the film now continues to tell the stories of the characters established in part one. This is once again very entertaining because the dramaturgy here is less reminiscent of a coherent story than a series of short films. And the characters have lost none of their humor and charm, so the ingredients will make for a very entertaining evening at the cinema, especially for the little ones. The Secret Life of Pets 2”, on the other hand, has little to offer in terms of narrative.

Duke and Max meet the resolute Rooster on the farm.

If you want to use a particularly harsh word, you could accuse screenwriter Brian Lynch (also wrote the script for part one) and director Chris Renaud (also responsible for part one) of being particularly lazy here. Because if you look at the course of what is being tried with great difficulty to hold together as one story in “Pets 2”, then you can’t shake the feeling that the various storylines are, taken by themselves, on a “Pets mini-story”. Movies” DVD is in good hands, but it only works to a limited extent as a feature film. And that’s not even that far-fetched, because there are already such short film collections for the Minions. But “Pets 2” opens in a very charming way in the house whose residents we already got to know and partly love in “Pets”, but after a short time it dissolves into its individual parts. Max (Jan Josef Liefers) and his dog buddy Duke (Dietmar Bär) go on vacation with the family, while the dog Gidget (Jella Haase), who is madly in love with Max, is allowed to look after his favorite toy in Max’s absence (and fails miserably). Snowball (Fahri Yardim) throws himself into the adventurous rescue mission of a circus tiger, where he meets, among other things, the senior dog Pops (Dieter Hallervorden), who is in a wheelchair. Of course, characters like the cat lady Chloe (Martina Hill) and the guinea pig Norman (LeFloid) also make their appearances again – some longer, others shorter. So that ultimately all the well-known films that have the charm of the films (which are guaranteed to grow into a series) are back on board – but that doesn’t change much about the boring script.

In terms of structure, “Pets 2” works like an episodic film – and as such it is the same here as with most representatives of the genre: the quality varies from storyline to storyline. The best is the one in which everything revolves around Max and Duke’s vacation and the addition of another member to their human family. How Max, who is very concerned about the little baby, learns not only to grow beyond himself, but also to finally have more confidence in his two-legged friend, is sweet, touching and also gives the adult audience of all people a very smart message that can help them The makers clearly speak out against so-called helicopter parents and instead appeal to developing a healthy balance between protection and trust in your own child’s abilities. Furthermore, Max’s journey of self-discovery, which he undertakes with the help of the feisty farm dog Rooster, is one big adventure and with a turkey as the ultimate scene-stealer, this episode would ultimately have been ideal to choose as the central plot. Instead, however, it only takes up around a third of the running time.

The other two are filled by two episodes that have little to offer in terms of narrative, but at least contain some of the film favorites and work in terms of humor (especially slapstick) and entertainment. When the over-the-top bunny Snowball mutates into a superhero and wants to free a trained cat from his captivity – who, one has to admit, has the saddest tiger eyes ever seen in an animated film – then The Secret Life of Pets 2 becomes a crazy comic adventure , just with animal superheroes instead of human ones. This is surprisingly dark at times; For example, when Snowball always has to take on evil guard dog adversaries whose appearance looks pretty scary. The FSK approval from age zero should therefore be treated with caution. However, this story is definitely funny and action-packed (The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a big leap forward visually compared to part one). The same goes for the third storyline, in which Gidget suddenly ends up in the apartment of a crazy cat lady while looking for Max’s favorite toy. This is actually where the original idea of ​​the “Pets” series comes into its own, because the story gives us a glimpse into what happens when we turn our backs on our pets. At the same time, she is clearly the weakest due to her lack of suspense and the lack of a punchline – and that despite the crash course “How to behave as a dog like a cat” that Spitz Gidget receives from cat lady Chloe.

Conclusion: Due to the clumsy episodic film structure, The Secret Life of Pets 2 doesn’t really feel well rounded. In terms of narrative, it also can’t keep up with the big-name animated films like Pixar and Co. The film will probably still be a hit because its entertainment and humor will particularly appeal to the young target audience. And that’s completely okay.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from June 27th.

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