MANILA — The events of this sequel to the first "The Secret Life of Pets" (2016) were at first forked into three separate stories.
In the first substory, our old friend Jack Russell terrier Max (with the voice of Patton Oswalt instead of Louis C.K.) was trying to deal with the dog cone prescribed by his pet therapist, his excessive protectiveness over his master Katie's son Liam, and their family adventures at the farm where he met the wise and courageous alpha dog Rooster (Harrison Ford).
Meanwhile, adorable white pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) was trying to retrieve Max's favorite toy Busy Bee which had accidentally fallen into an apartment of an elderly woman which was full of cats. She had to request the help of obese cat Chloe (Lake Bell) for tips on how to act like a cat in order to infiltrate the apartment.
At the same time, superhero-mode rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) and his friend Shih Tzu Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) was attempting to help the traumatized white tiger Hu from Sergey (Nick Kroll), his abusive trainer at the circus. All the pets come together for one major rescue mission in the final act which will need all their combined abilities to accomplish.
At the beginning, the story-telling was all funny, silly, tender and sentimental, while the animal rendered to be as cute as they were before. However as the three concurrent adventures were underway, the pace become quicker and more exciting, in a very kiddie way, of course. It was fun to see all those quirky little habits we note in pets, like dogs hanging their heads out of the car window and cats chasing the red dot from a laser pointer.
By the time the final act came along, again (like it was in the first film), there were again a number of intense action sequences that push the limits of the General Patronage rating. My pet peeve of seeing animals driving a car was back again. Not only were there ugly vicious wolves fighting with Max and his friends, the most extreme was a knife fight between Snowball and an evil monkey!
At the end, everything of course settled down perfectly as this was a kiddie animated feature anyhow. It tries to impart lessons in living like going for things as they come, and not holding back because too much carefulness. For me as a parent, this part again this requires some parental guidance when explaining this message to kids. The dangers in the real world are certainly not as cute nor as cartoonish as those they saw in this film. 6/10.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."