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Review by Dustin Heller

The lovable pets of the New York City apartment building are back for another adventure in the new 3D computer animated comedy, The Secret Life of Pets 2.  As you might have guessed, this is the follow-up to the wildly successful The Secret Life of Pets from 2016.  Much of the original cast is back, but there are a few new voices to get excited about.  The stars include Patton Oswalt (who replaced Louis C.K.), Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, and Harrison Ford to name a few.   The Secret Life of Pets 2 is rated PG for some action and rude humor.

Max and Duke are adjusting to life with their owner, Katie, getting married and having a child.  The family sets off on a vacation to a farm in the countryside, where Max meets an older and wiser dog named Rooster.  Rooster is dead set on helping Max get over his fears that seem to be building by the day.  Meanwhile, back in New York, Gidget must pose as a cat in order to retrieve Max’s favorite toy that she accidentally lost.  If that weren’t enough, Snowball and Daisy set out on a mission to save a white tiger from an evil circus owner.  What will happen when everyone finally gets back to the apartment building in New York?

In the world of cinema, it is very rare when the sequel of a beloved film trumps the original.  I bring this up because The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a much better movie than its predecessor.  Although, I should mention that I was not a fan of the original movie.   The Secret Life of Pets 2 is smart, funny and really has a great screenplay to work with. The idea to have three separate adventures going on at the same time works brilliantly; it doesn’t leave a lot of room for downtime by jumping back and forth between plot lines.  The kids are gonna love it, and the adults definitely won’t be bored.

Summer movie season is officially here and this movie has the look and feel of summer.  The computer animation is vibrant and colorful and truly a pleasure to watch.  The voice work from the entire cast is excellent, but Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish definitely steal the show.  Overall, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is an entertaining movie that the whole family will enjoy and a great way to kick off summer.

Grade:  B+

The Secret Life of Pets 2 opens in theaters on Friday, June 7