Films: Chris Renaud

The Secret Life of Pets 2

  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • USA / Japan / France
  • Directed by: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
  • Cast: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
  • UK release: 24 May 2019

Max (Oswalt) lives with owner Katie (Kemper) in apartment with other pets Gidget (Slate), Chloe (Bell) and Snowball (Hart); then Max becomes worried about Katie’s new baby Max. There’s not enough humour, charm or sense to win over parents, but kids will enjoy the vivid animation and animal antics.

The Secret Life of Pets

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • U
  • Directed by: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
  • Written by: Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch
  • Cast: Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Jenny Slate
  • UK release: 24 June 2016

Little Max (Louis CK) is a small dog who gets very lonely when his beloved human Katie (Kemper) leaves each day. But then she brings home a huge, shaggy rescue mutt (Stonestreet) and hijinks ensue. Undeniably derivative but cute and energetic comedy sustained by its fine voice cast.

Minions

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • U
  • Directed by: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
  • Written by: Brian Lynch
  • Cast: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock
  • UK release: 26 June 2015

Prequel to the Despicable Me films, in which the pill-shaped, dungaree-sporting critters attach themselves to villain Scarlett Overkill (Bullock) and go to London to steal the Crown Jewels. The minions are as cute as ever but they seem funnier in support, and Bullock's character is one-dimensional.

Despicable Me 2

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 1h 38min
  • U
  • Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Moisés Arias, Nasim Pedrad, Kristen Schaal, Pierre Coffin
  • UK release: 28 June 2013

Gru (Carell), now-reformed supervillain, is adjusting to life as the suburban dad of three small girls when the Anti-Villain League, led by Silas Ramsbotttom (Coogan), forces him to go undercover with stringy sidekick Lucy (Wiig) in search of a criminal mastermind. Although hardly stretching itself in terms of ideas, it's…

Despicable Me

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 34min
  • U
  • Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, Pierre Coffin
  • UK release: 15 October 2010

Universal's latest offering is a good-humoured tale of a curmudgeonly aspiring supervillain (Carrell) whose wicked ways are transformed when the three orphaned girls he adopts to help him steal the moon end up capturing his heart instead. Engaging, if not quite a classic.