(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

(“Strays” trailer courtesy of Universal Pictures)

The job of a movie critic often puts them in the minority.

After viewing thousands of films through the years, a person’s taste changes and often becomes more sophisticated.

As a result, movies with crude humor as opposed to thought-provoking humor do not always provoke laughter from the experts.

Animal lovers often refer to dogs as man’s best friend.

Often and not always because some dogs are mean as hell and will bite the heck out of a person with no remorse whatsoever.

In “Strays,” the lovable dog Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is definitely of the man’s best friend variety.

On the contrary, his owner Doug (Will Forte) is the one that is full of complete and utter hell.

Although Reggie thinks that Doug loves him, and he tries his best to cater to his owner, Doug has a strange way 0f showing his love.

In “Strays,” Doug and Reggie play a special game called fetch and f***.

The concept of the game is for Doug to drive Reggie miles away from their home.

Once the two BFF’s get out of the car, Doug tosses a tennis ball as far as his strength will allow.

Then Doug gets back in his car and burns the hell off.

But when Reggie finds his way back home and gives the tennis ball back to Doug, the owner always responds with an F-bomb.

Reggie knows that he has won the game when he gets Doug to release an F-bomb.

Obviously, Doug gets tired of losing the fetch and f*** game to his BFF.

Therefore, he drives Reggie three hours away to the middle of nowhere and burns off for the umpteenth time.

Unfortunately, this time Reggie has no clue of where he is and how to get home.

Sure, he paid attention to some of the landmarks on his latest journey with Doug.

But when night begins to fall, the fear and apprehension finally sets in for Reggie.

However, his fear does not prevent him from loving Doug and hoping to get back to him sooner rather than later.

But when Reggie meets the dog Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), his outlook on his predicament begins to gradually shift.

Not trying to burst his bubble, but Bug lets Reggie know that he no longer has an owner.

Reggie is officially a stray.

And although it might be a bitter pill to swallow, not having an owner has its benefits.

Strays get to do whatever the hell they want to do and when they want to do it.

They are never lonely because the world has a plethora of stray animals.

Whatever they want they can get.

To claim a possession, strays only must urinate on that possession, and it is theirs.

In “Strays,” Reggie’s first claimed possession is a lamp post.

Bug lets Reggie know that strays can hump whenever they want.

In essence, every day is hump day as the tagline in “Strays” states.

Bug’s devoted girlfriend is an old but devoted couch.

Sure, many people have used the couch for their own pleasure.

However, that does not stop Bug from hitting it with the mule whenever he sees his bae.

But even though Reggie has a new crew, which includes the dogs Hunter (voiced by Randall Park) and Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher), he still yearns for his BFF.

Unable to get Reggie to let go of the past, his “dawgs” agree to accompany him back home to gets some retribution for the way Doug treated him when they lived together.

But along the way, their plan runs into some poopy setbacks and some second thoughts about getting some get-back.

If raunchy floats your boat, “Strays” will too.

If crude gets you in the mood, then the strays will be your dudes.

But for everyone else, children and moviegoers who prefer a little more thought in their comedy, flee from those strays as quickly as possible.

However, “Strays” is not without laughs.

Many will laugh out loud throughout the movie.

But it is good to know what to expect when going into theaters, which is probably predictable just by watching the trailer and seeing the other promotional material.

Thankfully, “Strays” is a breath of fresh air because fans of Foxx will get to hear him do his thing again in light of his recent health scare and controversy for alleged antisemitism.

Despite the low brow humor, “Strays” does have some warmth and feel to it.

Even non animal lovers will feel sorry for Reggie and the way that Doug mistreats him.

Reggie is so in denial that he cannot see what it is so obvious to others.

His toxic relationship with Doug is that obvious bad relationship that a person’s friends and family members tell them to get away from.

However, being gullible and naïve leads to the good person taking far more abuse than they should have ever tolerated.

While humans should simply just get away from an abusive lover, dogs can do that as well as bite the living you know what out of that bad owner.

But for every bad relationship that needs separations, dogs and humans also can see when two people need to be together.

Unfortunately, just like people or animals do not know when to separate from the wrong one, sometimes the right one is right under their nose.

Although “Strays” is not the greatest or the funniest, it is also the job of the movie critic to note the positives in the movie.

And despite the harsh language, “Strays” does show heart and humanity at the beginning and the end of the movie.

However, what’s in between is a little too silly and juvenile.







Todd A. Smith
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