Max has a very full life. When he’s not eating, sleeping, or playing with Katie, he spends his days waiting for Katie outside the front door. However, this nice routine is suddenly interrupted when Katie unnecessarily brings a second dog home. What’s more, the furry monster named Duke is big, and cheeky and takes everything from Max’s food to his sleeping place. Can’t it get any worse? Oh yes, because during a trip the two are attacked by cats, caught by dog catchers, and finally have to deal with the rampaged rabbit Snowball, who is pursuing extremely sinister plans together with other abandoned animals.
As nice as it is for filmmakers when their work brings in a lot of money, it often leads to them trying to repeat their hits for obvious reasons. French animation studio Illumination Mac Guff, for example, was more or less forced, after the surprise hit Despicable Me, to milk the cash cow even further with a sequel ( Despicable Me 2 ) and the spin-off Minions. And even if work number five is finally allowed to break new ground again, the result is a bit sobering. Because what is sold here as a new story is not that new.
The animated adventure “The Secret Life of Pets” gives a beautifully illustrated answer to this, which is very charming at first and has funny characters ready, but it tries to conceal their lack of ideas with fast pacing, clichés, and monotonous slapstick.