The Secret Life of Pets Movie Review
It’s amazing no one made this movie until 2016. A cartoon about what pets do when humans aren’t looking is destined for success—it’s an easy, hilarious concept—so when the trailers for The Secret Life of Pets hit theaters, showing what dogs, cats and birds do the moment we close the front door—I was sold.
Too bad all of the good stuff is in the trailers.
The first ten minutes of The Secret Life of Pets delivers on its promise, tickling the funny bone with some clever if predictable situations that stay true to the title’s promise. The rest of the movie, however, is a dull, routine slog that relies solely on its cute characters to overcome its pathetically rudimentary story and screenplay.
The Secret Life of Pets is from the writers and one of the directors of Despicable Me—so the filmmakers have some pedigree—but boy does the movie spiral out of control in a hurry. The key problem is that the filmmakers didn’t take the time to develop a heartfelt, meaningful story to supports it simple concept. Had they stayed true to the concept instead of flushing their characters down a generic fish-out-of-water “get back home” adventure, they might have had something.
Instead, we’re subjected to a long sequence where the main characters are captured by a gang of former, human-hating pets who live in the sewer and celebrate stories of their former human overlords being murdered. It’s not particularly funny, and questionable subject matter aside, it just isn’t well executed.
The Secret Life of Pets isn’t completely intolerable, but it’s the perfect display of wasted potential. Bland, generic and utterly forgettable, the only secret this movie has to offer is that it isn’t worth the time or money.
The movie is now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.