The Secret Life of Pets: Great for adults, questionable for children
- For children: 2 Stars (out of 5)
- For adults: 4 Stars (out of 5)
Once again I am going to be part of the minority of my fellow film critics who no longer feel that child appropriate films are appropriate. Those who read my recent review of THE ANGRYBIRDS know that I could not in good conscience give the film a positive review because the movie is based on a violent video game. In my review of that film I wrote, “The premise of search and destroy is troublesome; the mass murder of pigs brings a disturbing reality to this animated carnage.”
I have the same feeling about THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS. This movie is going to sustain its huge box office and bring in a ton of money for Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures. However, this is not a child appropriate film. There is no carnage, but there are some pretty scary moments. There is some inappropriate language and violence as well.
As an adult film, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS has its moments and provides a sometimes dazzling, animated triumph. It is cute, adorable, and at times, funny. It also gets very dark.
The voice of Louis C. K. leads as a dog named Max. He is joined by the voice of Eric Stonestreet, who plays Duke, a big furry dog. Miscellaneous other voices from the animal and reptile kingdoms include Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Kevin Hart, Bobby Moynihan, Dana Carvey and Albert Brooks. Credit also Ellie Kemper, who voices Katie. By my count, there are actually 31 different voices. It is Kevin Hart who literally steals the movie.
The film is Co-Directed by Yarrow Cheney and Christ Renaud. I also want to give a shout out to Alexander Desplat for his terrific musical scoring.