Face it: if you’re a pet owner, you’re basically bound to see this movie and for obvious reasons. The trailer hooked you right from the get go with its hilarious, yet ingenious premise. So what do pets secretly do when the humans are out of the room? Let’s get right into it and break down The Secret Life of Pets.

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The Secret Life of Pets is directed by Chris Renaud and brought to us by Illumination Entertainment, the same people that gave us Despicable Me. The basis of this movie looks pretty straightforward. Owners leave the room and their pets are free to do anything they want, or however they choose to spend their day. Basically it’s Toy Story, but with animals. One day in New York City, two dogs that aren’t that fond of each other, come together and get caught up in shenanigans around the city while attempting to get back home before their owner returns from work.  

Good concept for a movie, right? Right, but a concept for a movie is only as good as the story behind it. So beyond that idea, does this movie have a good story to back it up? Well, it does have a story. A good story though? Unfortunately, not so much.

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But let’s start with some of the good in this film. Louis C.K. as the main star, or in this case, dog of this film named Max. I love Louie as a comedian, I think he’s hilarious and I know he can do good work and here is no different. In this film, he’s got that sympathetic, but endearing voice that worked well for his character and is standard Louis C.K. that I’ve come to know through his stand ups. 

Kevin Hart as Snowball the crazy, psychotic, little white rabbit may be the best thing about this movie. I thought he had the best, and funniest parts of the film, obviously he stood out thanks to his typical “Kevin Hart-isms” we’ve come to know by now. For example, talking very loud for the entire movie. You know, that Kevin Hart.

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Now where this movie falters is what I was talking about a little bit ago, the story and its plot just isn’t very good or memorable. For the first half hour of this movie, I was into it and it looked to be promising because it knew exactly how to relate to someone who owns a pet dog. It’s really accurate and funny, but then after the initial intrigue, it has in the beginning, the movie just doesn’t hold on it for rest of its entirety.

Essentially everything that you bought into in the trailer is here, but it’s pretty much a tease to get you to buy a ticket and see this movie. We all wonder what our pets would really do if we left them in a room by themselves, that’s the selling point. That’s the only part of this movie that really works and the rest is less to be desired.

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All in all, this movie will strictly entertain kids from the ages of 5 to 10. Adults will probably think it’s alright, but nothing they’ll remember in a month from now. The interest that got you invested in the film, just decides to leave a half hour into it and doesn’t do this movie any solid flavors. However, it’s not a bad kids movie because I’m somewhat in the middle of it too. It’s slightly enjoyable, but not enough to recommend.

I’m going to give The Secret Life of Pets a solid “C” on the movie grading scale. In all honesty, this movie probably would have made for a better short before a real film actually starts, than an actual one and half hour feature film, in my opinion. But whatever, I’m a dog owner as well so this film will stick an average landing in my books.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

– Frank

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