It's hard for me to gauge exactly how this one made me feel. If you know me well, you'll know that I'm an animal lover, and when it comes to the pets that I've had over the years, they were never pets so much as family members in themselves. Over time with our pets, however, we get to wondering what they might be thinking, and this is a movie that shows all of that in a much less family-friendly fun way, and in a much more adult and probably more realistic way. However, the cleverness of that also gets to be the film's downfall.
Fart jokes and toilet humour, to me, tend to be very low-brow and cheap - the comedy equivalent of a jump scare in a horror movie. These things can be done well, and done cleverly, or be done just for the sake of throwing it in there, and I feel like this had a lot of that "throwing" when it came to the toilet humour as well as the raunchy humour. The problem fighting me on this, however, is that for as much humping, pooping and boasting penis size as there is in this movie... these are dogs. It almost feels like dogs were used as a tool to unleash the writer's humour in a way that made perfect sense.
The story involves a Border Terrier named Reggie (Will Farrell) who lives with his horrible owner, Doug (Will Forte), a character any dog lover will despise immediately, who only has Reggie to lord him over his ex. Otherwise, he resents Reggie and tries to get abandon him at every turn. Reggie, being the loyal but gullible little guy he is, keeps coming back home though, so one day, Doug takes him somewhere he feels sure to get rid of him. Now abandoned, he finds himself roaming the town with a new group of furry friends.
A Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx) takes Reggie under his wing and shows him the ways of living the stray life with an Australian Shepherd named Maggie (Isla Fisher) and a Great Dane named Hunter (Randall Park). The other dogs eventually manage to convince Reggie of the truth, being that Doug abandoned him. This leads Reggie to come up with the ultimate revenge on his previous owner by heading back home and biting off his... well... you get the picture. Essentially what we have here ends up being a raunchy road trip movie involving man's best friend and how they would face the various situations they get into.
As the film goes on, the typical things we see in these movies go down. There's an awkward love interest going on between two of the main characters, there's a big drug tripping scene when the dogs find some magic mushrooms, a fight or two happens, and all of the humour is punctuated with raunchiness. I sort of hoped that this was going to be the big-deal raunchy/adult comedy of the year for me, but it just didn't impress me all that much. Perhaps that's a matter of over-hyping myself for it though. In many ways, it felt almost too low-brow during the majority of it.
With all that said, however, I do believe that there's some redeeming quality to this if you are a dog lover. For as low-brow raunchy as the film gets, I feel like anyone who has ever had a dog can understand exactly where they were going with this movie, and there's a certain amount of unfiltered honesty going on here. And that unfiltered honesty comes with the fact that dogs, despite how awesome they are, can be quite nasty. Hell, they can be eating, pooping, slobbering, farting, drooling machines, and this movie gets all of that across while still making way for them to be likeable characters.
The rest of that unfiltered honesty is actually kind of heartbreaking in that it shows a dog's loyalty to its fault with Reggie. When he does get abandoned, it's a heartbreaking scene, and it gives us that chance to like Reggie and want to see Doug get that "item" of his bitten off. While I can't say I loved this movie, I still had a fun time with it, and I feel like a true dog lover will as well. It's cute, fun, and even has a bit of heart to it. But if you're looking for real quality comedy, I'm not sure this is the right place to look. It's pretty much all poopies and genitalia here.