Film Review: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Neuters Promising Cast

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CHICAGO – A promising voice cast of comedy greats is effectively neutered in the blasé animated family film “The Secret Life Of Pets.” It doesn’t have the multi-layered story of the best Pixar movies – or even the “Despicable Me” films – to satisfy both kids and grownups. The bigger it tries to be, the more exhausted it seems.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The film might have worked best as a short subject, but it simply doesn’t have enough ideas to sustain a full length animated film. It’s early scenes are the ones most likely to get your tale wagging – where we witness dogs, cats, birds, and other assorted animals in a New York CIty apartment building indulging themselves while their owners are away. They’re either nibbling on leftovers, partying with other dogs, going on walks or chasing squirrels. It’s the kind of thing that will amuse young viewers, and is kind of blandly palatable to parents trying to catch a breather in a darkened theater.

Louis C.K. takes the voice lead as Max, a terrier pound puppy who loves nothing more than to just hang out with his owner. His simple life gets upended when his owner brings home a big scruffy mass of a dog named duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet). From there the film abandons its simple plot and sends its uneasy buddy team onto a madcap race into the New York City sewers while dodging animal control and running into a murderous gang of discarded pets.

”The Secret Life of Pets” opens everywhere on July 8th, in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D showings. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Eric Stonestreet, Albert Brooks and Steve Coogan. Written by Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch. Directed by Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Spike Walter’s full review of “The Secret Life of Pets”

PetsOne
Louis C.K. is the Voice of Max in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’
Photo credit: Universal Studios

StarContinue reading for Spike Walter’s full review of “The Secret Life of Pets”

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