STRAYS

★★★

BARKING MAD

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
17th August 2023

We all love a dog film - and deep down, even if we won't admit it, we all have a favourite raunchy comedy. A few months back, we saw the raunchy comedy return to the big screen with 'No Hard Feelings', and now 'Strays' hopes to combine dog film and raunchy comedy to bring in the crowds.

'Strays' follows Reggie (Will Ferrell, 'Barbie', 'The LEGO Movie'), who thinks his owner Doug (Will Forte, 'Studio 666', 'Scoob!') loves him, especially when they play "fetch and fuck", a game where Doug takes him very, very far away, throws a ball, and when Reggie returns home he screams "Fuck!" One day, Doug has had enough and takes his dog hours away, so when Reggie begins to realise that maybe Doug isn't the best owner, he comes up with a new plan: to bite Doug's favourite toy off... his penis. He teams up with Bug (Jamie Foxx, 'Spider-Man: No Way Home', 'Soul'), a Boston Terrier; Maggie (Isla Fisher, 'Tag', 'Keeping Up with the Joneses'), an Australian Shepherd; and Hunter (Randall Park, 'PAW Patrol: The Movie', 'Ant-Man and The Wasp'), a Great Dane so they can get back at Doug!

SWITCH: 'STRAYS' TRAILER

'Strays' is one of those films that you know from the premise whether you want to see dogs talking about poo and making sex jokes. If that's your humour, then 'Strays' more than delivers. I got a few laughs out of it, but it never really knocked the comedy out it out of the park. I could say some of it is too crude and gross, but the point of this film is just to be balls-to-the-wall R-rated full-on!

Most of the humour is very "it's funny because the dog swore", which gets a chuckle but the film did need to push its comedy a little further for this to be taken further. There are some funny ideas; the'Josh Gad''A Dog's Purpose' dog was quite funny, plus the scene where the dogs get high and see each other as hand puppets and animated versions of themselves lands well. The film needed more of those creative moments to make the leap from a light chuckle to a peak comedy film.

The film needed more creative moments to make the leap from a light chuckle to a peak comedy film.

'Strays' may not be for everyone, but it has enough laughs that if the marketing has piqued your interest, you'll get something out of it. The film gets a little too crude, and some of those dirtier jokes do just run a little too long, but if you're not expecting those moments you are probably not the demographic for this film. 'Strays' does what it says on the poster, not anything more or less.

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