Friday, August 18, 2023

A little 'Strays' OK but too much doggy style just gets ruff and ruffer

Even screenwriter Dan Perrault's funniest bit -- the ongoing obsession a pack of dogs display over a sexual kind of bone -- eventually grows, uh, long in the tooth during "Strays," whose mutts look much cuter than their celebrity voices often sound.

Yep, if somehow you did not know, these are mostly dirty dogs, although the one newly named Reggie (Will Ferrell) starts off eagerly playful enough until his owner (Will Forte) -- nasty in every conceivable manner -- leaves him stranded way far away from home.

The telling of how, why, and where Reggie got his new identity is both humorous and sad in the very early going. After all, a tough little terrier (Jamie Foxx) saves him from a pair of canine street bullies, and a primary friendship is born, complete with what the MPAA calls "pervasive language" (read: gratuitous "F-bombs" galore).

Everything else that dogs do -- and doo-doo -- earns plenty of screen time, too, before a crescendo sequence, accompanied by Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," seriously hits the fan. 

I mean, even legitimate pet lovers should find "Strays" at their own risk, despite such competent names as Randall Park, Isla Fisher, and Sofia Vergara joining the vocal nonsense.

Rated "R" by MPAA: for pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and drug use; 1:33; $ $ and 1/2 out of $5.

Also new today in theaters: "The Adults," "Back on the Strip," and "Blue Beetle." 

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