Strays, a comedy that aims to entertain viewers with its woeful yet lighthearted and humorous moments, is the latest offering from Universal Pictures. The film follows a fairly basic plotline, but if you’re in the mood for some laughs, Strays certainly delivers on that front.
Directed by Josh Greenbaum and written by Dan Perrault, Strays follows a Border Terrier named Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) who is abandoned by his lowlife, sex-addicted owner Doug (played by Will Forte).
All alone in unfamiliar territory, Reggie falls in with a foul-mouthed and street-smart Boston Terrier stray named Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who teaches him life as a stray. During this time, he meets Bug’s friends, an apprehensive Great Dane named Hunter (voiced by Randall Park) and an amiable Australian Shepherd named Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher).
Despite being dumped, Reggie believes he’s just playing a game of fetch with his owner and is determined to return home. His friends, however, highlight that he’s been in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. His owner nicknames him shitbag, dumbass shitbag, and f*ck nugget; has attempted to abandon him several times; mistreats him; and doesn’t show any affection towards him. It is only after his friends highlight this that Reggie sets out on a new goal: bite off Doug’s d*ck. Together with his new pals, they set out on a journey to help Reggie do just that.
Strays may not be particularly innovative or groundbreaking, but it manages to provide a good dose of comedic entertainment. Due to its simple plot and relatively short runtime, which prevents the production from delivering a more in-depth story, the audience can predict the direction in which the story will unfold, but sometimes that predictability can be comforting. It’s like a familiar journey where you know what to expect, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ride.
One aspect worth mentioning is that Strays is rated R, which means that the humor takes on a more adult-oriented tone. There are some innocuous gags that poke fun at habitual dog behaviors, but a majority of the jokes can be raunchy and sometimes veer into the realm of inappropriate. If you prefer more family-friendly or subtle humor, this may not be the right movie for you. However, if you enjoy edgy comedy, you’re likely to find yourself chuckling throughout the film.
What sets Strays apart from being a mere comedy, though, is the heart it possesses. The movie manages to infuse moments of sweetness, endearing characters, and sentimental scenes amidst the predominantly comedic narrative. Plus, the inclusion of talking animals adds a unique element to the film that brings depth and authenticity to the overall viewing experience. By giving the animals the ability to express their thoughts and emotions, the audience can better connect with the characters on a deeper level. This allows for a more well-rounded and satisfying story as it provides a glimpse into the inner world of these characters, which helps us understand their motivations and feelings.
Though the film is a fun one, there are better movies where animals have a starring role, and there are better comedy movies available as well.
While Strays may not be considered a blockbuster production, it doesn’t aim to be one. Not every movie has to strive for grandeur or try to redefine the genre. Strays is content to deliver a simple, straightforward comedic experience. It can be appreciated for what it sets out to achieve: providing lighthearted entertainment and moments of laughter.
In conclusion, Strays is not a groundbreaking or highly memorable film, but it does manage to carry through on its promise of providing laughs and a few heartwarming moments. Its predictable storyline and inappropriate humor may not appeal to everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Strays could be worth a watch.
Universal Pictures’ Strays is now in theaters.