Friday, June 14, 2019

The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

In The Secret Life of Pets, we learned that Max is a very lucky dog to have a home and a human named Katie to care for him.  He’s still lucky.  He has the same home and all and a canine roommate that he learned to get used to.  Things rarely ever stay the same, though.  Max and Duke receive a shock when their human brings home a boyfriend, Chuck.  Chuck becomes Katie’s husband.  Then, Katie becomes pregnant.

Yes, Max is going to have to put up with a rug rat.  After seeing what small children do to other dogs, Max isn’t thrilled.  However, he learns to love Liam.  Max and Duke are like an extra set of parents, doing what they can to help their newest family member.

The trouble is that Max isn’t as good as Duke at handling stress.  Now that Max has to worry about Liam, he sees danger everywhere.  This leads to a nervous habit of scratching his neck, which leads to a visit to the doctor.  And…Max gets The Cone of Shame.

We now have three divergent storylines.  Max, Duke and family go to a farm for a vacation, prompting Max to entrust fellow dog Gidget to watch over his beloved toy, Busy Bee.  Meanwhile, Snowball gets to play hero and rescue a tiger from a circus.  The three stories converge at the end, making for an interesting chase scene.

I’ve been reading complaints about having three story lines.  It’s not that bad.  Each one is at least entertaining and it’s not unusual for a TV show to do the same thing.  (CSI would often have two cases per episode.)  My impression is that the movie was written this way rather than having several otherwise-rejected story lines being merged together.

I could see them having been written as filler.  It’s not clear why Max would need someone to babysit his toy.  It would be more likely that Katie would bring it with them.  That does seem like it’s being done to set up the detour into The Land of the Crazy Cat Lady.  However, that was a pretty epic journey.

Having Snowball save a tiger was also strange.  At this point, circuses are anachronistic.  (Do we even have any traveling circuses any more?)  If I were writing the movie, I probably would have gone with a collector of exotic pets.  It would have made more sense.  It’s also a little odd that the tiger is so docile.  Tigers are wild animals and have been known to attack their captors, even after years or decades in captivity.

It still ends up being a fun movie.  It would seem that many of the errant details are done more for a joke, like having the tiger act like a house cat might.  It’s going to be fun for both kids and adults.  I just wonder how many kids will want a pet tiger.

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