Released: August 17, 2023
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Will Forte, Brett Gelman, Sofia Vergara.
Generally speaking, if a movie stars a dog as a main character I won’t watch it because you know that dog is going to die and I’m watching a movie for escapism, not to have an afternoon wishing I had shares in Kleenex. When I saw the trailer for Strays back in February I felt it was a safe bet this movie would have a happy ending…or at least it won’t be the dog that’s dead.
Strays is about a cute Border Terrier named Reggie (Will Ferrell) who proves just how loyal a dog can be no matter what level of trash their human is. If my eternal pessimism can be considered a mental health disorder, then so can the reverse because no matter what Doug does to this dog, Reggie thinks he’s loved and every day is the best day ever. Their favourite game is called ‘Fetch and Fuck’ where Doug drives Reggie out to random locations in an attempt to lose the dog but Reggie finds his way home every single time to Doug’s disappointment. Now Doug is being evicted and in one final attempt to get rid of Reggie, he drives three hours into the city and leaves him there.
It’s here Reggie meets Bug (Jamie Foxx), a foul-mouthed stray Boston Terrier who shows him the basics of life like how urinating on something means you own it, how to score food, how humans collect dog poop and he’s convinced it’s so they can make chocolate, and introduces Reggie to his girlfriend Deliliah (Sofia Vergara)…an abandoned couch. Later he meets Bug’s pals Maggie (Isla Fisher) and Hunter (Randall Park) and after a night on the town getting wasted and humping lawn ornaments, Reggie comes to the realization that his new friends are right and he’s been in a toxic relationship his entire life. As his anger grows over Doug being an epic douchecanoe, the four dogs head off on an adventure so Reggie can take his revenge on the one thing Doug loves most in the world – his penis.
Their adventure sees them checking out a carnival where they meet a “narrator dog” in a scene that quickly goes from cringe to ‘wait, what the fuck?!’, a trek through the woods getting attacked by a “bird” and getting high on mushrooms with the most out of place cameo that had us in stitches, a quick visit to the dog pound and finally they make it to their destination.
This movie is rated MA15+ and for good reason: this film isn’t for the easily offended. Bug has no issue calling anyone a “motherfucker”, there’s drug use and sexual activity (not just from the dogs), there’s a scene with Hunter that’s reminiscent of Jack Black’s special skill in Tenacious D The Pick Of Destiny and watching Reggie hump a gnome while not understanding the concept of “Daddy” – something that comes up more than once – is mortifying, yet hilarious. I laugh-cried through the entire film but what’s awesome is knowing there’s very little CGI used in this movie. We’re watching real dogs do fucked up shit!
So I’ll leave you with this – don’t buy the chocolate at the snack bar because this movie will turn you off your food and make sure you don’t leave as soon as the credits start playing!
Rating – 3/5
Film review by Katie Torrance
Strays is in cinemas now. Grab your tickets online via Universal.