Sunday, 19 June 2016

#42 SECRET LIVES OF PETS

Starring the voice talent of Louis C.K, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Bruess, Jenny Slate and Albert Brooks. Written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney. 91 minutes long, $75 million budget.

Produced by the French animation company that has so far given us - Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Hop, Lorax and Minions comes this, their latest assault upon the senses – an animated quilt of a movie that sees our 'loveable' hero small dog, Max (Louis C.K) try and get rid of his mistress's newest house pet, Duke (Eric Stonestreet) a giant hairy dog. After which much hilarity almost ensues.

Borrowing ideas from films like, Toy Story 1 & 2, Jurassic Park 2, Flushed Away, Around Midnight, The Warriors, Stuart Little, C.H.U.D, UP and Bronx Warriors comes this smorgasbord of a movie that is far, far funnier as a trailer than it is in actual practice, which is a great shame and a thoroughly missed opportunity.

If there was one film that should have stayed true to the promise of the trailer and given you nothing else, it should have been this one. A film which should have been a 91 minute movie filled with vignettes of what pets do when they're at home alone. Sadly this film lacks the balls to do that and instead opts for a tired, generic quest romp that happily rips off Toy Story 2 as it sics it's two main characters dogs, Max and Duke off on an adventure to get back home before their owner does after they've been left stranded on Brooklyn island. Thus the scene is set for the other pets to set off on a Toy Story 2 quest to get them back, while a pack of human hating sewer dwelling ex-pets, lead by a psychotic magician's rabbit chase after them and offer a mild dose of un-needed threat. Along the way, we witness hapless humans get pummeled, hilarious and utterly incongruous sequences of slapstick mayhem and bizarre scenes of wanton destruction and serious injury to innocent bystanders which almost puts to shame the collateral damage of Die Hard 5.

Beautiful to look and at times, quite funny this is sadly a very by-the-numbers animated movie for kids that will make you smile and even laugh occasionally but ultimately doesn't ever truly engage.

Not a total wreck, but only midly entertaining.

7/10

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