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'The Secret Life of Pets 2': Pleasantly amusing despite fluff (IANS Review, Rating: **1/2)

IANS 

Film: "2"; Director: Chris Renaud; Voices: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Chris Renaud, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Harrison Ford; Rating: **1/2

Like usual, "2" suffers from a sequel syndrome. Despite being interesting and pleasantly amusing, the spark of its first edition is definitely missing, and that is solely because the narrative literally appears packed with fluff.

The story takes off from the first edition. Max (Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) are now friends and in comfort zone till their owner gets married to Chuck and has a baby, Everything is fine when comes home, but when Liam, an over-energetic baby, begins to crawl and move about, Max spends most of his days in hiding. Till one fine day, hugs him and says, "I love you Max."

From that day onwards, the initially wary Max takes to the role of the little one's protector. Soon the responsibility becomes so stressful for Max that it makes him a nervous wreck. After a visit to the pet therapist, who prescribes a cone-collar for Max, the family takes a vacation to a farm where Max's fear brings him to the attention of Rooster (Harrison Ford) a Welsh Sheepdog with a tough exterior who resolves to bring Max back to his senses and cure his anxiety.

While Max is away at the farm, his apartment friends and the superhero rabbit, (Kevin Hart) who is chased by a spunky Pooh, Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), deal with a lost squeeze toy and soon rescues a frightened tiger from the vicious and abusive circus owner, (Nick Kroll).

All the fun characters from the original film return, though there is definitely more focus on the three main personalities this time around. as the default antagonist, is stereotyped. There is no complexity to him other than the fact that he looks menacing and he whips the tiger.

What starts of as an impressive fun-filled caper with messages like - change is inevitable and life throws surprises - soon tires itself with the mundane sub-plots. Preferring to remain in its proven safety zone, these sub-plots never really venture outside the lines established by the first adventure.

By mid-point, viewing becomes a bit tedious but the engaging voices of its ace star cast resonate with the right blend of emotions and keeps you glued to the screen.

Patton Oswalt, who had lent his voice for the most in Disney-Pixar's "Ratatouille", replaces Louis C.K. in the role of Max. He provides the same level of and youthful exuberance to this character.

as the spunky Daisy and as the cranky farm dog are the two new voices that add to the charisma of the narrative.

Visually, the film is colourful, packed with eye-pleasing and 3D effects. The visuals are accompanied by a soundtrack again composed by with jazz-inflected orchestrations. It is undeniably melodic.

Overall, the film with its moments of high-octave, fun will surely appeal only to a younger audience.

--IANS

troy/rb/bc

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 13 2019. 13:54 IST
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