People of a similar age to me will remember the childhood classic Homeward Bound. Right, now imagine someone like Seth Rogen decided to remake that film and you end up with something like Strays, the new gross-out canine-centric comedy here to remind us that dogs are the absolute best. 

Abandoned on the mean city streets by his lowlife owner, Doug (Will Forte), a naive but lovable dog named Reggie (Will Ferrell) falls in with the fast-talking, foul-mouthed Bug (Jamie Foxx) and his gang of strays. Determined to seek revenge, Reggie and his new canine pals embark on an epic adventure to get him home and make Doug pay for his dirty deed.
Heading into a film like this, the most important thing is for the film to be funny and Strays is definitely that. There's plenty of laugh-out-loud moments throughout, the narrative allowing for some truly gross and ludicrous moments based around the fact it's dogs doing it. It's no surprise that Dan Perrault wrote the film with it being as crass as it is, his fantastic American Vandal series being one to watch on Netflix if you haven't already.

There was always a danger that the trailers included all the funniest moments however, that's not the case here though. There's at least five moments not in the trailer that brought the house down; a drug fuelled mishap, random but funny cameo and such a dark line it made me spit my drink out. This is all before we get to the big finale which is just as obscene as you could imagine.

Basing a film around talking dogs could lead to the film losing the audience very early on with it looking rather silly. It never took me out of the film at all, instead looking pretty good, as good as it did in Disney's remake of The Lion King in fact. The voice performances go a long way in helping with this mind, the innocence in Will Ferrell's voice making Reggie such a likable lead character. It's the effortless switch Ferrell does from innocent to crass that gets me every single time. Jamie Foxx steals the show as Bug though, Foxx delivering many of his lines in such a hilarious manner. Check out They Cloned Tyrone if you want to see another great comedic performance from Foxx. Isla Fisher and Randall Park round out the great foursome and provide their characters with some standout moments.

With Josh Greenbaum at the helm, the man responsible for Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar, it's no surprise that Strays is a wacky adventure that is better when it leans into the absurdity of it all more. If you are easily offended, this isn't the film for you, but all I can say is that it was right up my street.

Verdict: ★★★


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