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Strays
Surprisingly crude and dirty, in both a figurative and literal sense, this R-rated take on talking dog movies ends up being incredibly entertaining.

Strays

Release Date: August 18, 2023
Runtime: 01:33
Synopsis:
An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner.

A newly stray dog decides to seek revenge against his former owner in . Reggie () is a naive Border Terrier in a neglectful relationship with his owner Doug (). Reggie ends up being abandoned in a city ally, where he ends up befriending street-smart Boston Terrier Bug (), who teaches him the joys of being a stray along with his dog-park friends Maggie (), an Australian Shepherd with an excellent sense of smell, and Great Dane Hunter (), a therapy dog wearing a cone 24/7. Realizing how terrible Doug treated him, Reggie is joined by his new friends on a journey home to enact violent revenge on what Doug loves the most.

Strays Synopsis

Strays is a comedy directed by Josh Greenbaum (Becoming Bond, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar) and produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street). Screenwriter Dan Perrault (Screen Junkies, American Vandal) wrote the film as an R-rated take on “dog movies” such as Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and more recent films such as A Dog's Purpose, A Dog's Journey, and A Dog's Way Home.

Will Ferrell voices the lead dog of Reggie, who finds himself abandoned in the city by his neglectful owner Doug. He quickly befriends Bug, who tries to teach Reggie that life as a stray is better than being tied down to a human. However, Reggie still needs closure in his relationship with Doug and is joined by Bug, Maggie, and Hunter on a lengthy journey home to get vengeance for his abandonment.

My Thoughts on Strays

A lot of the comedy from Strays comes from how it is a movie about talking dogs featuring much swearing and crude humour. The key to this is the dynamic between Will Ferrell and Jamie Fox as the very naive Reggie and the street-smart Bug. They are joined in the voiceover department by Randall Park (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Isla Fischer (Wedding Crashers) as Hunter and Maggie, who have a subplot with each other over the sexual tension between the two.

Strays is a surprisingly dirty film, in both a figurative and literal sense, with a gross scene in a pound involving dog-catcher Willy () coming to mind. The film also features some weird scenes, such as a mushroom drug trip, set to the unexpected record drop of “Flat Beat” by Mr. Oizo, the electronic music alter-ego of filmmaker Quentin Dupieux. Add in a very random bird-watching cameo by Dennis Quaid and the pitch-perfect use of Miley Cyrus' “Wrecking Ball” and Strays ends up being quite an entertaining film.

Altogether, Strays is a film that should be enjoyed by dog lovers, though it should be noted that some of the neglectful acts committed by Doug may be a bit upsetting.

Trailer for Strays

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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