The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

2019, PG, 86 min. Directed by Chris Renaud. Voices by Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Tiffany Haddish, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Harrison Ford.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., June 7, 2019

Like a dog to a bone, Hollywood loves a good sequel. 2016's talking creature animation The Secret Life of Pets was a dog's-eye view of life in NYC, as friendly canines Max the terrier and Duke the fuzzy mutt try to get home. As an unexpected global box office smash, a sequel was inevitable, even if the studio had to work around the awkwardness of having Louis C.K. as the voice of Max. However, he's out, replaced by Patton Oswalt as a nervier version of the adorable four-legged protagonist. He has good reason to be more stressed, as he's now the protector of a young boy called Liam, and that's a big change for a dog.

Everything else has stayed the same: Duke (Stonestreet) is still an adorable bundle of fun, fluffy Gidget (Slate) still has her crush on Max, Snowball the rabbit (Hart) is enjoying his life as an indoor bunny, and Chloe the cat (Bell) still regards the world with disaffected disinterest and archetypal feline archness. Unfortunately, the script by Minions writer Brian Lynch does everything possible to keep them apart, funneling all the main leads off into separate adventures that barely tie together in the final act. Max and Duke go off to the farm (not like that) and have to contend with rugged old Rooster (Ford), the no-nonsense Welsh sheepdog who has no time for their urban neuroses. Max asks Gidget to look after his favorite toy while he's away, which she immediately loses in an apartment full of cats. At the same time, Snowball, under his crime-fighting superhero guise of Captain Snowball, is convinced by a shih tzu called Daisy (Haddish) to rescue a tiger cub from an evil circus owner.

If that all sounds tonally disjointed, that's because it is. Rather than building to a full, fun film, each subplot seems like the pilot to a spin-off animated TV show. No film has felt so desperate to make the jump to the small screen since the best-forgotten Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, but then The Secret Life of Pets 2 never disguises what it is. Aimed squarely at the under-10s, its combination of cute critters and kinetic gags are sure to please the kids. Oswalt's expositional voiceover is there just to give the adults in the audience something to hang on to – although considering that one of his best known stand-up routines is about the existential horror of being a dog owner in New York, he may not have been the best pick for a cartoon that's so built on doggy snuggles and cotton-candy giggles.

Showtimes

Tue., June 18

3:25, 6:00, 8:50
AFA 10:15am, 12:50

Wed., June 19

10:15am, 12:50, 3:25, 6:00, 8:50

Tue., June 18

3:55, 6:30, 9:05
AFA 1:20

Wed., June 19

11:45am, 2:25, 5:00, 7:55, 10:25

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., June 18

3:55, 6:30, 9:00
AFA 10:45am, 1:20

Wed., June 19

1:20, 3:55, 6:30, 9:00

Tue., June 18

3:25, 9:20
AFA 1:00

Wed., June 19

11:25am, 1:55, 4:20, 9:30

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., June 18

4:00, 6:30, 9:20
AFA 11:30am, 1:30

Wed., June 19

11:30am, 1:35, 4:00, 6:30, 9:20

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Tue., June 18

CC/DVS 10:10am, 11:10am, 12:30, 1:20, 3:00, 3:40, 5:30, 6:00, 7:40, 8:20, 9:50, 10:30

Wed., June 19

CC/DVS 11:10am, 12:30, 1:20, 3:00, 3:40, 5:30, 6:00, 7:40, 8:20, 9:50, 10:30

Sat., June 22

sensory friendly 11:00am

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Tue., June 18

11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15
3-D 12:20
3D 12:20
digital 9:45am, 10:05am, 10:25am, 11:15am, 12:55, 1:45, 3:30, 4:15, 5:50, 6:45, 7:35, 8:30, 9:15

Wed., June 19

11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15
3-D 4:30
3D 4:30
digital 9:45am, 10:05am, 10:25am, 11:15am, 12:55, 1:45, 3:30, 4:15, 5:50, 6:45, 8:30, 9:15

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Tue., June 18

3-D 10:15
3D 10:15
digital 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:40am, 12:50, 2:00, 3:10, 4:20, 5:30, 6:40, 7:50, 9:00

Wed., June 19

3-D 10:15
3D 10:15
digital 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:40am, 12:50, 2:00, 3:10, 4:20, 5:30, 6:40, 7:50, 9:10

Thu., June 20

digital 9:20am, 11:40am, 2:00, 4:20, 6:40, 9:00

Tue., June 18

3-D 2:45
digital 10:00am, 10:50am, 12:25, 1:15, 3:40, 5:15, 6:05, 7:40, 8:30, 10:00

Wed., June 19

3-D 2:45
digital 10:10am, 10:50am, 12:25, 1:15, 3:40, 5:15, 6:05, 7:40, 8:30, 10:00

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Tue., June 18

3-D 12:55, 10:35
digital 10:25am, 11:50am, 2:10, 3:20, 4:30, 5:40, 6:50, 8:10, 9:10

Wed., June 19

3-D 12:55, 10:35
digital 10:25am, 11:50am, 2:10, 3:20, 4:30, 5:40, 6:50, 8:10, 9:10

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., June 18

3-D 10:45
digital 10:00am, 10:55am, 12:15, 1:25, 3:40, 4:45, 6:10, 7:05, 8:25

Wed., June 19

3-D 10:45
digital 10:00am, 10:55am, 12:15, 1:25, 2:30, 3:40, 4:45, 5:45, 7:05, 9:20

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Tue., June 18

digital 10:30am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:45

Wed., June 19

digital 10:30am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:45

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Tue., June 18

10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:40

Wed., June 19

10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:40

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Tue., June 18

12:45, 1:45, 3:00, 4:00, 5:10, 6:15, 7:30, 8:30, 9:55

Wed., June 19

11:15am, 12:45, 3:00, 4:35, 5:10, 7:30, 9:40, 9:55

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Tue., June 18

CC 10:15am, 1:00, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Wed., June 19

CC 10:00am, 1:45, 3:30, 6:15, 8:15

Thu., June 20

CC 10:00am, 1:45, 3:15, 4:45, 8:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Tue., June 18

9:15
CC 10:15am

Wed., June 19

9:15
CC 10:15am

Thu., June 20

9:15
CC 10:15am

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., June 18

3-D, CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:00, 4:20, 6:45, 9:15
CC/DVS 12:35, 3:00, 5:15, 7:45, 10:20

Wed., June 19

3-D, CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:00, 4:20, 6:45, 9:15
CC/DVS 12:05, 2:30, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Tue., June 18

12:00, 2:15, 4:20, 7:00, 9:10

Wed., June 19

12:00, 2:15, 4:20, 7:00, 9:10

Thu., June 20

12:00, 2:15, 4:20, 7:00, 9:10

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Tue., June 18

11:15am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:15

Wed., June 19

11:15am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Tue., June 18

3-D, CC/DVS 2:00, 4:15, 6:15
3D, CC/DVS 2:00, 4:15, 6:15
CC/DVS 12:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:15

Wed., June 19

3-D, CC/DVS 2:00, 4:15, 6:15
3D, CC/DVS 2:00, 4:15, 6:15
CC/DVS 12:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:15

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., June 18

3-D, CC/DVS 12:50, 10:30
CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 3:15, 4:45, 5:45, 7:05, 8:10, 9:30

Wed., June 19

3-D, CC/DVS 12:50, 10:30
CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 3:15, 4:45, 5:45, 7:05, 8:10, 9:30

Thu., June 20

3-D, CC/DVS 12:50, 10:30
CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 3:15, 4:45, 5:45, 8:10

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Tue., June 18

9:15am, 10:15am, 12:00, 1:00, 2:35, 3:45, 5:15, 6:30, 8:00

Wed., June 19

9:15am, 10:15am, 12:00, 1:00, 2:35, 3:45, 5:15, 6:30, 8:00

Thu., June 20

9:45am, 10:15am, 1:00, 2:15, 3:45, 4:55, 6:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Tue., June 18

10:00am, 10:20am, 1:05, 3:15, 3:45, 4:45, 6:00, 6:30, 8:45, 9:15

Wed., June 19

10:00am, 10:45am, 11:00am, 3:45, 4:45, 6:30, 8:45, 9:15

Thu., June 20

10:00am, 10:45am, 1:30, 3:45, 4:15, 6:30, 9:15

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Tue., June 18

10:40am, 1:45, 4:25, 6:55, 9:30

Wed., June 19

10:40am, 1:45, 4:25, 6:55, 9:30

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Tue., June 18

10:30am, 12:40, 2:50, 7:20
3-D 5:00, 9:40
3D 5:00, 9:40

Wed., June 19

11:50am, 12:40, 2:50, 7:20
3-D 5:00, 9:40
3D 5:00, 9:40

Thu., June 20

10:30am, 12:40, 2:50

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Tue., June 18

10:00am, 11:00am, 12:10, 1:10, 2:15, 3:15, 4:20, 5:20, 6:25, 7:25, 8:40

Wed., June 19

10:00am, 11:00am, 12:10, 1:10, 2:15, 3:15, 4:20, 5:20, 6:25, 7:25, 8:10

Tue., June 18

10:50am, 5:15, 7:45, 9:45

Wed., June 19

10:50am, 5:15, 7:45, 9:45

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Tue., June 18

11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00

Wed., June 19

11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00

Thu., June 20

11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., June 18

3-D, CC/DVS 5:15, 7:35, 10:10
3D, CC/DVS 1:00, 3:05, 5:15, 7:35, 10:10
CC/DVS 11:05am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:10, 8:20

Wed., June 19

3-D, CC/DVS 1:00, 3:05, 5:15, 7:35, 10:10
3D, CC/DVS 1:00, 3:05, 5:15, 7:35, 10:10
CC/DVS 11:05am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:10, 8:20

Thu., June 20

3-D, CC/DVS 10:35am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:15
3D, CC/DVS 10:35am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:15
CC/DVS 11:05am, 1:30, 4:10, 7:30, 10:10

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Chris Renaud Films
The Secret Life of Pets
Hollywood has the cure for those dog-day afternoons of summer

Kimberley Jones, July 8, 2016

Despicable Me 2
Gru exchanges supervillainy for domesticity in this sequel, although the Minions are still the animated film's best selling point.

Steve Davis, July 5, 2013

More by Richard Whittaker
Division Head Steps Down at Rooster Teeth Animation
Division Head Steps Down at Rooster Teeth Animation
Studio to address worker stress, conditions

June 17, 2019

AAAFF Review: <i>Omotenashi</i>
AAAFF: Omotenashi
Japanese/Taiwanese family story is a glimpse into tradition

June 17, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Secret Life of Pets 2, Chris Renaud

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle