Homeward Bound is a family-friendly adventure of animals finding their way back home but Strays is the raunchy Homeward Bound.
I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t this film have talking animals? Well, yes, but it’s not a film that you should be bringing your younger children to see. Unless you want to answer questions about certain words or activities, please keep them at home! It might make you cool with the teenagers unless they’re embarrassed to be seen with you in a theater. Listen, my mom took my brother and I to see American Pie when it opened in theaters but you do you, okay. But as I was saying: this is not a film for kids! It is one of the raunchiest movies of the year.
Doug (Will Forte) is the worst person in the world. He should not be taking care of any dog, let alone Reggie (Will Ferrell). With Doug’s life in the dumps and Reggie, a Border Terrier, always finding his away home, the man decides to drive three hours away and leave Reggie to find for himself. The domesticated dog now finds himself in with the strays but all he wants to do is get back to Doug. That is, until he meets a Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx). Bug teaches him the rules of the trade but Reggie is still insistent on getting back to Doug. Their joined on the adventure by an Australian Shepherd, Maggie (Isla Fisher), and emotional support therapy Great Dane Hunter (Randall Park). As Reggie digs deep into his past, his quest to get back to Doug becomes a different quest.
I’m not going to get into the spoilers here. All you need to know is that this raunchy film is not for kids. There are things that happen in this film. Things that I’m not going to get into. But again, I can’t help but find myself rooting for Reggie when it happens. Would I want the same thing happening to abusive dog owners in the real world? Let’s just say: Karma is a Bitch. If not for screenwriter Dan Perrault having an idea for subverting the dog movie genre that traditionally brings audiences to tears and bringing his pitch to producer Erik Feig, Strays would not even be filling the R-rated dog movie whole in our hearts this August.
It features a lot of hysterical gags that honestly go further than Josh Greenbaum’s previous outing, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Are there gags that will make you cringe while laughing hysterically? Oh, yes. Will you feel better for doing so? My guess is yes. Again, this is one of the raunchiest films of the year. By my count, it’s the third film produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller this year after Cocaine Bear and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. I do not know if this film will become a cult classic but we shall see what happens. One thing for sure is that Lord and Miller producing is good enough for me.
Strays is a different type of movie about the unconditional love that dogs share for their owners. What happens when the love is missing? This is where their friendship with other dogs enter the picture. But yeah, keep people like Doug as far away from dogs as possible. There’ a special place in the eternal barbeque for Doug.
DIRECTOR: Josh Greenbaum
SCREENWRITER: Dan Perrault
CAST: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Brett Gelman, and Will Forte, Josh Gad, Harvey Guillén, Rob Riggle, Jamie Demetriou, and Sofia Vergara