Summary from The Secret Life of Pets Website:
Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with some major life changes. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is now married and has a toddler, Liam. Max is so worried about protecting the boy that he develops a nervous tic. On a family trip to a farm, Max and mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) encounter canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a terrifying turkey, all of which only elevates Max’s anxiety. Luckily, Max gets some guidance from veteran farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford, making his animated-film debut), who pushes Max to ditch his neuroses, find his inner alpha, and give Liam a little more freedom.
Meanwhile, while her owner is away, plucky Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip.
And crazy-but-cute bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) gets delusions of grandeur that he’s an actual superhero after his owner Molly starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s only been pretending to be.
Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears?
I was wildly disappointed with this movie. I know, I know: it’s a movie for kids, you have to watch it through that lens! I try. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t fun. It was boring. I’m just going to walk through the synopsis above. Max the Terrier becomes an overprotective parent to Liam the human toddler. Who is this movie for? Children. Why is the main character’s main issue most relatable to parents? It sets the movie up to fail. Patton Oswald replaced Louis C.K. as the voice of Max. He does a fine job with a limited script and a limited character with a bad arc. The synopsis also clearly outlines three different storylines in the movie. That is what the movie is. Three different stories that do not seem to connect at all. Until they finally do in the last maybe 10 minutes of the movie. The “biggest fears” mentioned in the summary range from giving a three year old human child that some extra space to literal wolves trying to murder them.
This script for this movie isn’t very good. Kevin Hart’s voice acting is the best part of this movie. I think I laughed four times. I also think I was the only person in the theater that I heard laugh. There were so many questionable decisions made about the characters and the story that it takes away from what ended up being a pretty good message about overcoming fears. The best parts of the first movie were the pets interacting with each other and being friends. Those interactions are few and far between in this movie. Also, I understand that this is an animated movie for kids staring animals that can talk, but some of the things that happen are just ridiculous. The decision making by the animals is horrible.
I would not recommend seeing this movie in theaters. The only thing about this movie that really succeeded: it made me want a dog.