Reggie (voice of Will Ferrell) lives with his dog parent Doug (Will Forte) who is a piece of work and I mean in a lazy, potty mouth, dirty, disgusting kind of way who takes more time in pleasuring himself than dealing with life and of course being a dad to Reggie. Actually, Doug has more choice of nasty words he calls Reggie than any reference to nice even though Reggie tries to please him. Many times, Doug took Reggie out to play ball but when he threw the ball Doug sped off leaving Reggie behind yet he always finds his way back with tennis ball in mouth that is until the last ride when he drove Reggie about three hours away.
On the other side of the city is where Reggie meets Bug (voice of Jamie Foxx) a French Bulldog that happens to be a stray. It is Bug that shows Reggie how to survive away from a family and on their own well that is until Maggie (voice of Isla Fisher) and Hunter (voice of Randall Park) joins the now group of strays. It is Reggie that asks for his new found friends help and this is where the journey really begins as Reggie tries to return to Doug for one private reason of which he fulfills in the end.
There are a number of dog breeds in the story but the main four characters are the ones I mentioned above. There are also humans in the story but they play a backseat to the dogs except for Doug of who as Reggie’s parent is the center of attention and basically the plot of the story. I have to give the director credit since dogs are very difficult to work with even when their trainers are right next to them out of the shot. If you pay attention, you can see the strays looking off to the side at times but I must say the director keeps the trainers in the focus of the camera angle most of the times. As for the writing I would have been happy with PG since I thought the R rating was a bit too harsh and over-done. We know pet parents love their dogs and the conversations are a mixed bag with some people laughing and some not so much. I chuckled two or three times but overall, I wasn’t a fan of the story. I wish I was part of the writing since I host a national pet show now for thirty-three years, there were so many other angles the writer could have taken that would have been hysterical in a doggy kind of way. I did like the use of the hawk and the squirrels were pretty funny but other than that the movie is average and definitely not for children.