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Film Review – Uncovering ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2016 – 2:49 PM

By Adam Sherman

Ever since its founding in 2007, Illumination Entertainment has experienced financial success after financial success with each film it releases. While the films themselves are considered to lack the depth of Pixar’s creations, they tend to be well-received as light-hearted “kiddie fare.” Could The Secret Life of Pets continue the trend (average but financially viable), surpass the trend (by being a film of high enough quality so as to compete with DreamWorks and Pixar), or buck the trend (by becoming the studio’s first critical and financial bomb)?

I can safely say, it’s number one.

The Secret Life of Pets takes place in New York City and focuses on a terrier named Max (Louis C.K.) who finds his whole life upended when his owner brings home a new dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). After a series of shenanigans, the two dogs find themselves far from home, and must return while avoiding the wrath of both Animal Control, and Snowball’s (Kevin Hart) attempts at revenge for screwing up their plans.

This film is rather humorous, but feels somewhat lacking. The pacing comes off as a bit too fast and the audience is never really given much of a chance to digest the more emotional moments of the film. However, the visuals were pretty good for an animated feature with a budget under $100 million (up to and including a rather cool fight sequence near the end).

In short, if you want a flick that feels respectful of both children and adults, go see Finding Dory or The BFG. However, if you’re a pet lover, or just desire a distraction for the kids, then this isn’t a bad way to waste an hour-and-a-half.



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