Whenever I go in to a movie, I almost never have the expectation that it will be bad. I’m a rather optimistic movie goer. Illumination Film’s really disappointed me with how poor the Minion Movie was yet, I still was very excited to see Secret Life of Pets. I think everyone on earth that has owned a pet has thought about what they do at home when they are away. To turn this concept into a movie was a brilliant idea that was ripe for original story telling and possibly a new franchise. How they turned this concept in to a garbage movie I will never understand.
The Secret Life of Pets followed the same formula Illumination Film’s made for the Minion Movie. The first 3 minutes of the movie consisted of the really funny trailer they released. That was followed by a group of pets that went on an adventure filled with slapstick humor that lacked any cleverness or interesting characters. Every character was a cookie cut out that lacked any depth or intriguing personality. One reviewer I watch, Christ Stuckman, even pointed out that the entire plot is a copy of the original Toy Story. The dog Max is having a wonderful life with his owner and pet friends until another dog, Duke, is brought home. Max gets extremely jealous because Duke is getting a lot of the attention and in a brawl between the two they get lost. The group of pet friends venture off to find where Max and Duke went as the two dogs slowly start to develop a friendship. Replace Max and Duke with Woody and Buzz and yes, it’s the same movie.
The Secret Life of Pets is easily another failure by Illumination Film’s to create a movie that is good for parents and kids. I hesitate to say it was even good for kids, seeing that many weren’t paying attention during the movie. Movies like Zootopia will always over shadow the movies similar to The Secret Life of Pets because it not only has clever writing and interesting characters, but it has a meaningful story that is able to tackle really big ideas that are very applicable to the world we live in. When a movie can do that it can be entertaining and it can change how we view the world. That is an experience that might be hard to live up to but The Secret Life of Pets doesn’t come close to being enjoyable or funny let alone being able to change someone’s world view.
The movie wasn’t enjoyable to me, it lacked any real character depth, had way to much slap stick humor, and had the same formula as The Minion Movie (Which they should have learned didn’t work). The 5 minute short about the Minions was more funny then the entire movie. I was sorely disappointed in this film especially because the concept was rich for original story telling. How can you tell if a comedy is bad? See if you fall asleep for the last 1/3rd of it. If you do, then it sucks.