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In what feels like something from the Frat Pack/Apatow Crew era of 15 years ago, Josh Greenbaum’s Strays comes to us while Brabenheimer cools down for the end of the summer season. This is actually a raunchy comedy that almost has something for everybody.

The humor is for viewers who appreciated Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon’s Sausage Party (2016), the general concept of Fletcher Markle’s The Amazing Journey (1963) and Duwayne Dunham’s Homeward Bound (1993), and the (well, almost) wholesomeness of Dean Fleischer Camp’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes on (2021). Strays is exactly what you expect from the director of something ridiculous like Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021).

In a rural neighborhood, a cute Border Terrier named Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is naïve and oblivious to the fact that his owner, Doug (Will Forte), is a burned-out loser who treats Reggie like trash. Constantly ignoring him, yelling at him and looking for excuses to leave him outside.

But in Reggie’s mind, Doug is irrationally “the greatest human ever.” When Doug finally has had enough and abandons Reggie in the middle of town, three stray dogs — Bug (Jamie Foxx), Maggie (Isla Fisher) and Hunter (Randall Park) — befriend him and try to help Reggie understand his home life is actually worse than being a stray.

Jade Hernandez appears as Doug’s ex-girlfriend, who is the reason Reggie is a part of his life; and Rob Riggle, Brett Gelman, Josh Gad and Greta Lee are the comedians who provide voices for other canines on screen.

Strays is 90 minutes of foul language, drug gags, potty humor and sex jokes. This much is expected and transparently obvious from the original trailer. But there is also an underlying theme of a victim unaware of an abusive relationship throughout the movie, as Reggie is regularly, gently reminded that Doug is not a good person.

It’s pretty clever to use a cute, innocent animal as a metaphor for a serious subject, and actually lands for the most part. Greenbaum and screenwriter Dan Perrault seem to care as much about sending an important message as they do about making audiences laugh. Though this gives Strays some extra substance, the comedy will obviously be divisive for a lot of movie fans.

Naturally, some parents are wondering if a comedy centered on dogs is inappropriate enough to warrant an R rating. And I can safely say, yes it is. Not only does every scene include four-letter words, but I’ve seen more graphic close-ups of canine genitalia, humping, vomit and poop to last me a lifetime.

I’m not a prude and I don’t have kids, but if it were me, I would probably wait until 8th grade to consider allowing a child to view Strays. As for the adults, it really just depends on your taste in comedies.