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strays

★★★

starring: will ferrell, jamie foxx, isla fisher, and randall park

REVIEWER: lyall carter

An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner.

Growing up in the 90’s there were family flicks galore like Benji and Homeward Bound that starred real life animals. But Strays really ain’t that kinda movie. While Strays concept of an adult humour filled animal movie is a novel one and there's plenty of laughs to be had, it doesn’t quite develop as much as you’d hope it would. 

 

When Reggie (Will Ferrell), a naïve, relentlessly optimistic Border Terrier, is abandoned on the mean city streets by his lowlife owner, Doug (Will Forte), Reggie is certain that his beloved owner would never leave him on purpose.

 

But once Reggie falls in with a fast-talking, foul-mouthed Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx), a stray who loves his freedom and believes that owners are for suckers, Reggie finally realizes he was in a toxic relationship and begins to see Doug for the heartless sleazeball that he is.

 

Determined to seek revenge, Reggie, Bug and Bug’s pals - Maggie and Hunter - together hatch a plan and embark on an epic adventure to help Reggie find his way home … and make Doug pay by biting off the appendage he loves the most. (Hint: It’s not his foot).

 

From the outset Strays doesn’t play itself as merely a parody of the classic 90’s animal movie; it’s a lot more than that. It seeks to develop the personalities and story arcs of the four main dogs as we eventually discover their own individual journey’s that have brought them to this point. 

 

And Strays is stuffed full with adult humour that will have you laughing out loud throughout. From poking fun at dog film narrators to the absurdity of the main dogs accidentally eating magic mushrooms to Bug getting captured by an eagle, there’s plenty to enjoy here. 

 

But, despite all of that, you can’t quite shake the feeling that Strays could’ve been a bit more than just a flick starring real life animals with adult humour. Perhaps that’s down to the story itself which is fairly straightforward; I’m really not sure. Again, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I had a great time chuckling away at the Will Ferrell voiced Reggie trying to poop his way to freedom.

 

While Strays concept of an adult humour filled animal movie is a novel one and there's plenty of laughs to be had, it doesn’t quite develop as much as you’d hope it would.

★★★

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