Strays is directed by Josh Greenbaum and stars Will Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Randall Park, and Isla Fisher as the voices behind the four stray dogs at the center of this film. The plot of Strays, thin as it is, centers on Reggie (Farrell) who wishes to get revenge upon his owner, Doug (Will Forte), in a very anatomically specific manner.

Generally speaking, if you are in the audience for Strays, you’ve already seen the film or plan to stream it when it’s available. Farrell and Foxx are doing the kinds of bits that their fans expect and enjoy, and raunchy scatological and sex jokes with cursing dogs abound. Every bodily function is the center of more than one extended bit, and that kind of humor has its audience.

However, even the target audience will find Strays repetitive. The “cute dogs say bad words” bit is the only joke Strays has to offer, and it’s repeated over and over and over and over again for an hour and a half. To be fair, sometimes that joke works; I chuckled enough and laughed a few times.

What’s more surprising is there’s some substance in Strays. The relationship between Reggie and Doug is obviously toxic, but the film handles the depiction of toxic relationships’ dynamics with unexpected depth and – I can’t believe I’m about to use this word in a review of Strays – maturity. Reggie’s anger at Doug for mistreating and abusing him is real and rendered with enough pathos, but when Reggie picks up a tennis ball to return it to Doug, we see how hard it is to break from old patterns. Reggie even internalizes Doug’s insults, which is a behavior familiar to too many people who’ve experienced toxic relationships.

So much of Strays is stupid – deliberately so – that it’s surprising to see one element of the film treated with nuance. That’s not enough to save it from the gutter, though, as the film will interrupt anything serious for another poo joke. Even if it’s not my favorite brand of humor, for some audiences, it may be enough.