Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 74% (Critics) / 66% (Audience)
Directed By: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Written By: Cinco Paul , Ken Daurio , Brian Lynch
Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
Studio: Universal Pictures
Synopsis: The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes. – (Source)
The first half of this movie was absolutely delightful. Sure it was just a riff on the TOY STORY plot except with dogs instead of toys but seeing the animals behavior when their owners leave them alone was really fun and the rocky relationship between happy terrier Max and his new housemate Duke was hilarious.
Also Kevin Hart was a total hoot as a maniacal bunny who was the leader of an anti-human group of cast-off critters.
Things took a real turn for the worse once the film took the animals outside of the confines of their apartments and had them running around the city doing ridiculous things like driving buses and taxi cabs.
I fully expect big budget animated movies to shamelessly attempt to pull at my heartstrings and I am usually fine with it. Heck, in some cases I end up loving it…like the brilliant way Pixar did it with UP. But when this movie made its attempt it was so forced and hamfisted that I didn’t feel any empathy but rather annoyance.
Final Verdict: THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS is a good movie for almost half of its running time where the focus is on what happens when the pets owners aren’t home but falls apart once it becomes an overlong chase/caper movie.