The Secret Life of Pets 2
A city dog learns to worry a little less.
This family-friendly sequel probably should have been three straight-to-video featurettes, said Jesse Hassenger in AVClub.com. Though it’s “rarely clever,” it’s “sometimes funny,” especially when it simply allows some cute cartoon animals room to goof around. As in the 2016 original, the focus is on Max, an uptight terrier in New York City. This time, Max frets mostly about protecting the baby his owner has brought home, but even when his frazzled state prompts the family to retreat to a hazard-filled farm, the secondary stories prove more engaging. A bunny voiced by Kevin Hart and a shih tzu voiced by Tiffany Haddish team up for a random action-adventure storyline. Meanwhile, “most of the film’s comedic hijinks” are generated by Jenny Slate’s flaky Pomeranian and Lake Bell’s cantankerous tabby, who team up to retrieve a dog toy from a cat lady’s apartment, said Courtney Howard in Variety. Back at the farm, Max is coached in the ways of alpha canines by a shepherd dog voiced by Harrison Ford, and Ford “handily—and gruffly—steals the show,” said Michael Rechtshaffen in The Hollywood Reporter. It’s all just light entertainment, “thoroughly serviceable” but “uninspired.” ■