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Eric Stonestreet, Patton Oswalt and Harrison Ford voice dogs in The Secret Life of Pets 2.

Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures/Universal Pictures

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2
  • Directed by Chris Renaud
  • Written by Brian Lynch
  • Featuring the voices of: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell and Harrison Ford
  • Classification: G
  • 86 minutes

In a lively sequel to 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets, an old dog learns a new trick and Patton Oswalt takes over for disgraced comedian Louis C.K. as the voice of Max, the lead-role terrier.

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When the little guy’s owner gets married and produces a rambunctious baby boy, an initially wary Max soon takes to the role of the tyke’s protector. When the responsibility becomes too stressful, a pet therapist prescribes a cone-collar (for no apparent reason other than the sight gag). The main plot involves the big-city family heading to a farm, where Max overcomes his fears. While he’s away, his apartment building full of furry friends (dogs, cats and a superhero rabbit) deal with a lost squeeze toy and a Draculian circus owner, Sergei.

Questions: Why is the farmer character morbidly obese? Are “circus wolves” a thing? And why does the villain need such a thick foreign accent? (The answer to the last question is that it’s never too young for kids to learn to be afraid of foreigners.)

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The message of the film is that life throws surprises. While that is true, this predictable film itself is not one of them.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 opens June 7.​

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