It’s well established that as a species we don’t deserve dogs. Apart from the lack of thumbs, they’re better than us in every conceivable way. I think it’s because they can’t use Twitter. We make lots of movies about them, though lately live-action dog movies are less the adventure stories of my youth (Benji, The Incredible Journey) and more about the people who own them (Dog, Dog Gone), or fully animated (The Secret Life of Pets, DC League of Super-Pets).
Here, Will Ferrell (Spirited) does what he does best, mixing earnest sincerity with foul-mouthed humor in Strays. Will Ferrell plays Reggie, a raggedy little terrier who loves his white trash owner, Doug (Will Forte), far more than Doug deserves. When Doug dumps him in the city, Reggie finally realizes he’s been abused his whole life and seeks revenge on an incredible journey of his own.
People who abandon their dogs suck. At least one might get what’s coming to him — namely, his dick bitten off. On Reggie’s side is a bevy of comedic talent with Jamie Foxx (Dayshift) as Bug the Boston Terrier; Isla Fisher (Wolf Like Me)as an Australian Shepherd; and Randall Park (Blockbuster) as a Great Dane. Strays is written by Dan Perrault of American Vandals, and directed by Josh Greenbaum (Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar). Does it look particularly intelligent? Nope. But it looks like a lot of fun, with limited CGI and some cute dog performances. Award shows should add a Best TV\Movie Pet category. I might actually watch.
I definitely felt a twinge of emotional manipulation as we watch Doug abuse his Good Boy, but I trust Ferrell to keep things light. That said, I’ll still make sure all our four-legged friends survive the movie before I watch. Strays is in theaters on June 9.