Monday, January 22, 2024

Strays (2023)


Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: Strays (2023) 
Genre: Adventure, Comedy 
Length:  1h 33min 
Rating: R 
Director: Josh Greenbaum 
Writer: Dan Perrault 
Actors: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Will Forte, Brett Gelman, Rob Riggle, Josh Gad, Sofía Vergara, Jamie Demetriou, Greta Lee, Jimmy Tatro, Harvey Guillén, Jack De Sanz, Phil Morris, Charity Cervantes, Jade Fernandez, Mikayla Rousseau, Aven Lotz, Dan Perrault, Dennis Quaid, Keith Brooks, Hedy Nasser, Dexter Masland, AJ Bernard 
IMDb Blurb: An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner. 
Cat’s Point of View: 
I have struggled to put my thoughts together in order to review Strays.
My daughter and I saw this in the theater with friends, and we had a collective consensus as we left post-credits. Never again. (Much to my husband’s dismay, we’ve told him he’s on his own if he wants to watch it, and we mean it.)
To be fair to Strays, the movie was funny – hilarious adjacent - and even touching occasionally. Unfortunately, there was an over-abundance of toilet humor… and that is in the most literal sense. I’ve seen other reviews give it the fancy term of ‘scatalogical humor’ but I’ll cut to the chase – poop jokes. The movie was full of dog poop.
Sure, it’s about dogs…and they poop. Every living being poops in some form or fashion. It doesn’t stop there, though; and explaining what had our stomachs churning would be giving spoilers so just take my word on it. If the thought of feces has you wanting to run to worship porcelain fast and in a hurry, then Strays may not be the film experience you’re looking for. The upside to that, I guess, is that now Strays is available on streaming, you can always pause it to run and ralph in the privacy of your own home. I did not enjoy holding down my popcorn in the very public theater. (I’m not squeamish, either. There are just some lines my internal fortitude has drawn.)
I’m never about tearing a movie down. There were some positives to Strays. This canine adventure was well executed and I was impressed that they clearly used real dogs for the majority of the scenes. The CGI to enable them to “talk” was also very well executed. The story was endearing, if a little sad, as the clueless, disillusioned, and yet still hopeless romantic pup takes his new friends on an adventure to wreak revenge on his former human. The concept, itself, was hilarious. There was even a dog-movie Easter egg worked in.
When we saw the trailer for the first time, my daughter and I were immediately on board wanting to watch. This is one of those instances that the trailer wasn’t exactly misleading, but it didn’t give us an accurate representation of what we were in store for.
I was also excited to see a film with Jamie Foxx (Day Shift, They Cloned Tyrone, The Burial). I’m always eager to see what Foxx has been working on whether it’s big or small screen productions – and especially while he’s been on medical hiatus from the latter.
Excellent cast and all its best efforts to provide a fun Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) – like adventure focused on revenge simply couldn’t overcome its own potty jokes to become a film I’d be willing to recommend to others or even ever watch again. This doesn’t make it a bad movie, so to speak, but it definitely goes into my personal One-and-Done category in which very few films reside.
There’s just one more thing to remember: even though Strays is about cute dogs on an adventure, this is not a movie for kids – at all. The R – Rating is absolutely appropriate for the content of this film… and not just because of the poop.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 53%
 Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 69% 
Metascore – 54% 
Metacritic User Score – 5.2/10 
IMDB Score – 6.3/10 
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating –  2.5/5 
Movie Trailer:

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