|Don't expect to see more of this scene than this. The modern hippy hoppy is more prevalent.|
I have to be honest about something; I'm not a big fan of dogs. There, I said it. I can enjoy and appreciate other people's dogs, but that's because I don't have to take care of them and spend all day reassuring them of my love and affection. They're just too damned needy. "Do you love me?, Can we play?, Do you love me? Please oh please scratch my belly!, Tell me you love me!" Shut the hell up! If I wanted to be around that level of insecurity, I'd date a Kardashian (if they can become famous, then anything's possible).
I like cats myself. They take care of themselves and don't constantly bide for your attention. In the 2000 film Meet the Parents, Robert DeNiro has a hilarious line in it that has stuck with me. He says, "When you yell at a dog, his tail will go between his legs and cover his genitals, his ears will go down. A dog is very easy to break, but cats make you work for their affection. They don't sell out they way dogs do." I'd have to agree.
Louis C.K.'s (American Hustle) character Max from the film The Secret Life of Pets, is the epitome of DeNiro's dog statement. Sure he's cute, but he also oozes insecurity. As a dog tolerator, that right there should turn me off to this movie. Yet this film knows not to over do anything except its cuteness. There's also nothing new with this concept that we haven't seen before with 2006's Barnyard and Over the Hedge. There's even a blatant rip off of the story lines from Toy Story 1 & 3. All complaining aside, this movie does more right than wrong. The characters are funny, the animation is crisp, and the story keeps moving at a quirky pace.
The voice cast is spot on. Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Dana Carvey (Wayne's World), Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors), Jenny Slate (Zootopia), Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo), and Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls), keep things wacky and fun. But Kevin Hart (Top Five) takes the carrot cake. His performance of the power hungry rabbit Snowball, is as intense as it is hilarious. Without him, this movie would have had the other animals wandering around in boredom.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of The Secret Life of Pets
The Good- Following Pops the old Basset Hound, hot dog heaven, Gidget goes Neo (The Matrix) on everybody, and taking Duke home backfires.
The Bad- I just saw it and I've forgotten almost everything. What does that truly say about this whole thing?
The Ugly- I really think that I'm burnt out on all of the kid's movies that I've seen this year (Kung Fu Panda 3, Zootopia, Pee Wee's Big Holiday, The Jungle Book, TMNT 2, Finding Dory, The BFG). With this one, I just want to get it over with and finish this review. Is it only July?
The Secret Life of Pets is an entertaining film to take the kids to, with a good message about domesticated animals needing homes, but when it's all said and done, it's just not for me. I guess a less needy, cat version, would have grabbed my interest better, and my napping through it would've been more acceptable. Get there early for a funny Minions short film that plays beforehand.
Rating- 6 out of 10
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
PG | 87 min | Animation, Comedy, Family | 8 July 2016 (USA)
A terrier named Max's quiet life is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.
Directors: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio,
Stars: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart