My opinion right after watching the movie
My opinion right after watching the movie is that I dislike it, and it inhibits the worst traits of Illumination’s laziness. I am glad that the box office for the film was low enough for them to hopefully get the point that they need to be more creative, take more risks, and add more depth into their movies. I was just so uninspired the entire time, and I haven’t felt like this in a while, which says a lot due to some of these movies I have to watch.
Almost immediately after the first movie was released, Illumination announced that a sequel was in the works. Louis C.K. (who played Max in the first film) was booted from the film in late 2017 due to the several accusations of sexual assault
The film starts with us getting a recap of what has happened since The Secret Life of Pets, where Katie (Ellie Kemper) meets a man named Chuck (Pete Holmes), who she will marry, and have a kid named Liam (Henry Lunch). We skip 1-2 years, as Liam starts to talk, and after initially being annoyed by him, the dogs Max (Patton Oswald) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) grow increasingly close with him. Anyways, he gets too attached, which leads to Max getting taken to the veterinarian office, where he is given a dog cone to stop itching nervously.
Max has a bee ball that he loves, and has Gidget (Jenny Slate) look out for him as the family is going on a road trip as a second plotline. And we have a third plotline where Snowball (Kevin Heart) wants to be a superhero, and gets his chance when a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) wants him to assist her in saving a white tiger cub. It is clear to me that this film was created solely for profit purposes, since all of these subplots have nothing to do with the main plot, but they have to have the marketable characters from the first film do something, but wasting our time while doing so.
All three plotlines move in the ways that you expect, but with horrible pacing, no connection, no humour, and nothing interesting taking place whatsoever, almost like they were making this up as they went with it. The main point of the film from what I could grasp, is that Max is being taught how to not be afraid of everything, as the baby is fine with not ideal situations. Of course they go home, and Max joins Snowball in saving Daisy and the tiger cub from being captured by the circus. What you think happens does happen, and the film ends with Liam getting sent to pre-school, where the entire family is emotional but accepting of it.
I do not have much to say about the characters, since they were flatter than they were in the first film, which is a HUGE accomplishment that I didn’t think they could do. Max had to learn not to be fearful of everything, though it kind of was done in a way that was half-effort. A lot of the other main characters from the first film were either invisible, or given needless subplots that don’t develop anything. All of them bored me to tears, or were plain plot devices.
The animation is serviceable enough, though completely uncreative. No interesting backdrop background designs, character designs did not stand out to me, the color scheme was fine, and so was the movement. I don’t really know what to say about it.
Of course they played songs that were popular in pop music through the movie, which came off as relatively lazy in my opinion. The score was completely forgettable, but that tends to be the case with most Illumination films. Everything about the music either vaguely annoyed me, or came and went.
Reception at Release
It has (as of August 16th, 2019) made $156 million in domestic territories, and $225 million through other areas, adding up to a worldwide amount of $381.8 million. Compared to the original film (which made $875 million), it was seen as a HUGE downgrade. Critically, it received mixed reviews for the same reason every other Illumination film does; thin story and characters, but pleasant and harmless enough to keep the kids entertained.
20/40 = 50%