'The Secret Life of Pets 2' movie review: Harrison Ford channels his inner sheepdog in fun and lighthearted animated sequel

Patton Oswalt, Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart also lend their voices to this heart-warming but ultimately forgettable film

Susan Ramsay |

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Max (left) voiced by Patton Oswalt and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) welcome a new member to the family in 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'

If you haven’t got a younger brother or sister, you might want to rent one so that you can legitimately enjoy The Secret Life of Pets 2. It’s not going to win any Oscars, but it’s fun and just the tonic for escaping exams for a bit.

We go back to Max the terrier and his life with his human, Katie, and Duke the rescue dog. Katie gets married and soon there is a new baby in the household. At first he’s wary, then accepting, and then becomes the ultimate helicopter parent. This causes him anxiety but the cure is just round the corner.

This sequel is more like three stories in one, and it’s not woven together as tightly as it could be. But they are entertaining. The main one is Max’s adventures when his family goes on holiday to a farm – a strange place for a city dog. There he encounters a farm dog, Rooster, and learns life-changing lessons.

Meanwhile, he has left his favourite toy in the care of Gidget, the toy Pomeranian. The toy bounces into a flat below, which is full of cats. The only way Gidget can get the ball back is to become a cat. Her catitude lessons are funny enough but the battle to get the toy back is genuine lols.

Max’s bunny neighbour Snowball has his own story, in which he has become a crime-fighting superhero dragged into a mission to save a young tiger from a cruel zoo.

The action and the laughs come thick and fast, and the ending could not be more purr-fect.

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The Secret Life of Pets is a furry important film for pet owners everywhere