It may not come as a surprise to learn that comedian Kevin Hart has a film continuing to dominate on the streaming giant Netflix. After all, Hart has quite a few great comedies under his belt with the likes of Think Like A Man and Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along, Central Intelligence, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Jumanji: The Next Level. But what is surprising is that none of these movies is the one dominating Netflix. No, the Kevin Hart movie dominating right now is Illumination’s 2019 The Secret Life of Pets 2.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a follow-up to the 2016 hit The Secret Life of Pets, which also starred Kevin Hart. In both movies, Hart voices Snowball, a white rabbit with a few anger issues and, in the sequel, has dreams of being a superhero.
Pets 2 brings back Max, a Jack Russell Terrier, and Duke, a mongrel, from the first movie. This time, we find Max and Duke, who have come to terms with now being brothers, on a trip to the family farm. Max immediately has trouble adjusting to farm life, causing one of the sheep to go missing. Max, with the help of sheepdog Rooster, finds his inner farm animal and helps rescue the sheep.
Kevin Hart makes his appearance as Snowball when he meets a Shih Tzu named Daisy. She tells Snowball she needs his help rescuing a White Tiger cub named Hu. Snowball can see his future as a superhero if he can help Daisy. They track down Hu at a circus, where they finally are able to rescue him but during the rescue, Daisy drops her clip, allowing the circus wolves to track her, Snowball and Hu.
Daisy and Snowball get Hu back to the apartments, but Hu is unable to stay with Pops, so he is relocated to Max and Duke’s apartment. As the family returns, the evil circus owner and the wolves find Daisy and Hu, taking them both. Snowball, Max, and Duke spring into action, rescuing them all after defeating the evil circus owner and the wolves.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 held high expectations. The first movie was a huge success and with the sequel bringing back much of the original’s voice cast, Illumination thought they had a surefire hit. They were only partially right. Even though Kevin Hart gives a wonderfully comedic voice performance, the movie underwhelmed critics and thusly at the box office. The film was projected to bring in around $60 million during its first weekend, then those expectations were dropped to around $46 million. Eventually, the film brought in $46.7 million the first weekend, which was half of what the original cashed in with its opening weekend. In total, the film did a modest $429.4 million at the box office, less than half of the $875.5 million its predecessor reeled in.
Kevin Hart is not known to flex his vocal muscles for animated features. In fact, other than both The Secret Life of Pets movies, his only other vocal role came in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Hart prefers to keep his face on-screen, which is a shame because he definitely has the vocal range and talent to do more animated features. He has also spent a lot of time filming his stand-up comedy shows, his last one coming in the 2019 Netflix show Kevin Hart: Irresponsible.
Along with Kevin Hart returning as Snowball, Pets 2 brought back the vocal talents of Eric Stonestreet, Dana Carvey, Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Ellie Kemper, and Pete Holmes. The cast was joined by Harrison Ford and Tiffany Haddish and also saw Patton Oswalt step in to voice Duke, who was voiced in the first movie by Louis C.K.
As for Kevin Hart, he remains busy. He can be seen from time to time on TV commercials shilling for Chase. Other than that, Hart was recently seen in the feature Jumanji: The Next Level and the Quibi series Die Hart that found Hart playing a version of himself where he is trying to move away from being the “comedic sidekick” and turn into the actual hero by going to the world’s greatest action star school. John Travolta played the crazed school director trying to teach Hart the ways of being a hero. With Quibi recently announcing it was shutting down, the actual future of Die Harter is up in the air. Kevin Hart will next be seen in Fatherhood with many other films lined up including The Man From Toronto, Borderlands, and the recently announced remakes of Uptown Saturday Night and The Great Outdoors. He also has Ride Along 3 on the horizon.