A film like Strays is pretty easy to review: Sausage Party meets Homeward Bound. If that description — or a quick watch of the red band trailer — piques your interest, then collar up for the doggone funniest film of the year. It also has producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Jump Street pawprints all over it. For anyone with a dog, or any pet, at home — I have two wieners — this movie will be more up your alley than most. Packed with as many dog jokes as, err, humanely possible, and better character arcs and heartstring pulls than most dramas, the best comedy of the summer comes right at the tail end of the season.
Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) loves his owner Doug (Will Forte) so much that he doesn’t realize that their games of “fetch and f*ck” are Doug’s attempts to get rid of him. One day, Doug drops Reggie off in the middle of the city. Here, he meets the streetwise Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx). Bug shows Reggie the ropes of being a stray, but Reggie refuses to accept his fate until Bug’s friends Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher) and Hunter (voiced by Randall Park) make him realize the toxic relationship he’s in needs to end. Now, the canines band together to help Reggie find his way home for revenge, setting his sights on Doug’s favorite toy: his penis.
For those who love the ribald humor of the Jump Street movies, or never knew they needed to see Sausage Party with animals, you’ll love it too. I could watch dogs on shrooms all day. The voice cast give every character the affection they deserve, while director Josh Greenbaum (who also brought us the criminally underseen Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar) and writer Dan Perrault, provide plenty to chew on. At a brisk 93 minutes, the film even has more pathos than some Oscar bait, and the laughs are fast and furious and never ending. Be sure to stay for a mid-credit scene too that puts the icing on the cake for Reggie and Doug’s favorite game.