Film review: The Secret Life Of Pets

Secret Life of Pets

After the success of Despicable Me, has Illumination Entertainment pulled another rabbit out of the hat or just some colourful rags?

We find ourselves in a sunny New York suburb, filled with life as seen through the eyes of pets, we embark on a journey through Max the dog’s trials and tribulations. The first few moments of the movie will be familiar to you as it follows the trailer to a tee, this sets up the movie with a strong set of character building cameos. It is worth noting that unlike the recent Angry Birds film the trailer does not encapsulate the only good parts, in terms of comic segments the characters deliver laughs by the minute and pathos when required.

It is not long before a new character is forced into Max’s life in the form of Duke, a larger than life stray that Max’s owner takes pity on. Conflict ensues as the duo get into all sorts of scraps around the city as they fight to be top dog. Louis C.K does a great job playing the role of Max, a boisterous smaller dog, contrasted with Eric Stonestreet as the giant Duke – the translation of how we perceive dog’s behaviour works well.

Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets

The film captures it’s characters and environment with all the visual beauty you would expect from a blockbuster animation. The use of perspectives make for some touching moments as you see just how big the world can seem for both humans and animals, this is illustrated nicely in a moment when Max, Duke and their owner sit on the fire escape to look across at Downtown New York in all its glory. The visual characterisation is another strong point as you are shown a colourful variety of characters, all supported well by their visual tics and unique appearances.

The Secret Life of Pets is not as big a hitter as Despicable Me, which due to its highly unique Minions gave it quite the edge, yet it is a lovingly crafted look at animal behaviour, our relationship with them and perhaps our misconceptions about them. While it does touch briefly on some of the darker sides of animal life it leans more towards a comic romp. This is not a bad thing as most jokes do hit their mark and don’t leave you fatigued by any attempt to try too hard, however it could have been even better if they had captured a greater sense of danger at points in the movie.

Overall the movie will be enjoyable to a wide range of ages and accessible on many levels. The jokes were funny and the characters invested you in their world with great aplomb. It won’t make any lists of classics in the years to come, but should be well recognised as an easy to love, fun romp for all the family.






Author: Joe, Bath store