Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Animated comedy directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney. The Secret Life of Pets (2016) takes place in a Manhattan apartment building, when the real day starts after the folks on two legs leave for work and school. The building’s top dog, Max (Louis C.K.), finds his pampered life turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy-yet-cunning bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who’s building an army of ex-pets called the “Flushed Pets” abandoned by their owners who are out to take revenge on all happy-owned pets and their owners.
Max: I’m Max and I’m the luckiest dog in New York, because of her.
[we see his human owner Katie]
Max: [after Katie has just left to go to work] Oh, I miss her so much.
Max: [suddenly Katie opens the front door] She’s back!
Katie: Forgot my phone!
Max: [as Katie leaves again] Oh, I miss her so much.
Gidget: Hey, Max.
Max: Hey, Gidget.
Gidget: Any plans today?
Max: Yes. Big, big stuff today, Gidget. I got big plans. I’m going to sit here and I’m going to wait for Katie to come back.
Gidget: Oh, that sounds exciting. Well, I won’t interrupt. I’ve got a very busy day too.
Max: [referring to Katie] She’s back!
Katie: Hey, Maximillian! I have some big news.
Katie: [opens the door to reveal her new dog, Duke] Max, this is Duke. He’s going to be your brother.
[Duke sloppily licks Max’s face]
Max: Chloe! Chloe! I got a bad situation. Katie brought home a psychopath from the pound! I don’t even have a bed now! I’m sleeping on the floor, like a dog! Why would Katie do this to me?
Chloe: Because she’s a dog person, Max, and dog people do weird, inexplicable things. Like they get dogs instead of cats.
Max: Okay, please don’t start now, Chloe. That is not helping.
Chloe: Max, come on. I’m your friend, okay, and as your friend, I got to be honest with you. I don’t care about you or your problems.
Max: [as Katie is brushing his teeth] Duke is just ruining our lives. He’s ruining… ! It’s an emergen …!
Katie: [not understanding what Max is barking about, she pats him on his head] Aah, you little cutey pie.
Duke: This is my apartment now, and my new bed.
[he slumps down on top of Max who’s lying down in his bed]
Max: [after Duke breaks the vase] Oh, Duke, Katie’s going to be so upset when she sees that, Katie’s going to flip out.
Duke: It’s just one vase.
Max: Is it, Duke? Is it?
Max: [suddenly he kicks out to break the vase on the coffee table] Ah, that’s a shame.
[he then starts kicking out the paper on the table as Duke watches in horror]
Gidget: [referring to Duke] Hi, Max. Who’s your new roommate?
Max: He’s going to be gone soon.
Sphynx Cat: [as they end up in a back alley] What’s going on here?
Duke: Mind your own business! Oh, my gosh. What happened to you?
Duke: [looks in horror at the emaciated stray alley cat] Aaahhh! Run!
Gidget: [to the other neighborhood pets] Max is missing! We’ve got to find him.
Gidget: [starts slapping the alley cat] Where is Max? Tell me!
Sphynx Cat: [as Tiberius is watching] Help me! Ow!
Gidget: Don’t look at him, look at me!
Max: [as they are being taken away in an animal rescue truck] Katie’s going to be worried sick.
Duke: And we had a great thing going. I blame myself.
Max: Yeah, me too. I blame you a lot.
Chloe: Look Max I’m your friend, okay, and as your friend Ive got to be honest with you I don’t care about you or your problems!
Chloe: Katie is a dog person, and dog persons do inexplicable things, like get dogs instead of cats.
Snowball: [referring to the piece of cardboard on the wall with incoherent lines drawn on it] Look at my plans. It’s all laid out, right here.
Pop: [as Snowball does an evil laugh] That ball of fluff’s got a screw loose.
Animal Rescue Guy: Hey, you see that? Hey, there, cute little bunny.
Animal Rescue Guy: [suddenly Snowball attacks the delivery guy, beating him up] Save yourself!
Snowball: Shut it human! Let’s do this now!
Snowball: Rupert! Rupert where are you at?
Snowball: [sees a massive bulldog locked up in one of the animal cages] Let’s go! I’m busting you out of here.
Snowball: [quickly bites down on his carrot into the shape of a key and frees Rupert] Liberate forever! Domesticated never! Yeah!
Snowball: The revolution has begun! Liberated forever, domesticated never!
Snowball: [to Max and Duke] I’m going to bust the both of you out of here, but from now on you work for me.
Snowball: [to Max and Duke] We have returned from the surface with two new recruits. Initiating time.
Max: I’m sorry, what time?
Snowball: [a massive snake looms down over them and flips out his poisonous fang] Who wants to go first?
Snowball: Advantage me!
Snowball: [starts laughing hard, loses control and rabbit droppings come out of him] Oh-Oh. Just ignore what just happened, okay? Yes!
Hound: This is my city, I’ll find your friend. We got to take the secret route.
Chloe: [the pets watch in horror as Hound suddenly falls down a pipe at the side of the building] Okay, the secret route was death.
Hound: Come on!
Max: [to Duke] We can find our way home. We are descended from the mighty wolf! We’ve raw primal instincts. And our moments away from leading us home.
Duke: [as they catch a ride on the fairy] Isn’t home that way?
Pop: I’ll find your friend.
Buddy: How you been, old timer?
Gidget: [after a moment of stunned silence] Great.
Snowball: I feel heroic, and a little wet, but I still look good. I look good.
Pops: This is Puffball, Squashface, Weiner Dog, Yellow Bird, Eagle Eye, Guinea Pig Joe. And of course my girlfriend, Rhonda.
Snowball: Who are we? We are the Flushed Pets. Abandoned by our owners, and now we’re out for revenge! It’s like a club, but with biting and scratching.
Snowball: Death’s coming to Brooklyn, and he’s got buck teeth and a cottontail.
Snowball: [seeing Max on Duke on a ferry] They’re going to Brooklyn!
Tattoo: They say everyone’s going to Brooklyn these days. Making a real comeback.
Snowball: I’m not talking about hipster real estate trends. I’m talking revenge, Tattoo!