Sequel has little insight into the lives of our pets, but is amusing enough for little ones


Adventure, intrigue, talking like Tiffany Haddish: According to “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” this is what your furry friends are up to when you’re not around.

The sequel to 2016’s animated hit is even thinner on plot than the first one, whose title promised a look behind the scenes and inside the minds of cats and dogs. What it delivered was a loud romp through the streets of New York City, starring wise-cracking animals with celebrity voices.

Not much has changed this time around, aside from the casting, as the no-longer-kid-friendly Louis C.K. (was he really all that kid-friendly the first time around?) has been replaced by Patton Oswalt, who voices Max, the lead doggo. This time around, Max heads off to a family farm – it sounds like a metaphor for death, but it’s not – where he learns the ropes of country life from a gruff sheepdog named Rooster (Harrison Ford).

Elsewhere Kevin Hart is Snowball, a tough-talking bunny rabbit who has delusions of being a superhero; Jenny Slate is Gidget, a pampered Pomeranian who is trained to act like a cat; Lake Bell is a sleepy-eyed, sluggish, obese tabby cat; and Haddish is Daisy, a Shih Tzu with attitude.

The jokes are aimed at the 7-year-old set, and not far beyond, although there’s one set-piece involving Slate’s character and a laser pointer that has a quality payoff. Otherwise, “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” like its predecessor, isn’t meant to stand the test of time or be handed down to the next generation. It’s cinematic catnip, a momentary diversion for the easily distracted.

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’


Rated PG: for some action and rude humor

Running time: 86 minutes


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