Age certificates are usually a promotional footnote, but not for Strays. The poster shows Bug, a streetwise Boston terrier voiced by Jamie Foxx, holding a cinema ticket bearing the BBFC’s ‘15’ verdict, which delineates the film’s ‘strong language’ and ‘crude humour’. This simple bit of marketing tells you that Strays is more akin to Ted than Homeward Bound, and I can confirm that it delivers in terms of sheer vulgarity.

First, some plot. Reggie (Will Ferrell) is a doting Border Terrier living with Doug (Will Forte), a slimy pot-smoking loser who hates Reggie and just wants rid of him. He tries dropping Reggie in a local field, throwing a ball as far as he can and then hastily driving home, but Reggie always finds his way back. So, in a moment of uncommon resolve, Doug repeats this trick some three hours out of town, which finally throws Reggie off the scent and lands him in the dangerous company of a Rottweiler, a Doberman and a pair of sultry Afghan Hounds. It also brings him to Bug, the aforementioned Boston terrier who protects Reggie with unhinged bravado while teaching him the hard truths of life.

Soon, with further help from Maggie (Isla Fisher), an Australian Shepherd, and Hunter (Randall Park), a camp Great Dane, Reggie aims to not just confront Doug but bite his dick off, too.

This bawdy odyssey unfolds with a near constant barrage of obscenity and the audience around me responded with plenty of laughs and a fair amount of cooing, but I was unable to join them beyond the occasional chuckle. Seeing a Boston Terrier say fuck with a thick urban accent can be amusing, especially when in moderation. But Strays doesn’t do moderation. Every other word is a variation of fuck, dick or pussy and it wears quite thin. Foxx still manages to land with the odd turn of phrase, but there’s not a lot of wit here.

Strays’ sight gags are stronger. There’s a whole lot of shit and piss and a smattering of gore to boot. These are the tenets of canine life, after all — lumps, fluid and viscera. There’s also some ‘my dog does that’ fare, such as a moment where Reggie and his friends pace in circles to get comfortable. The film’s not without heart, either, despite how daft it all is. But perhaps the most impressive thing about Strays is the seamless blend of canines and computer imagery. I am genuinely curious about the production. How were these dogs handled? How were they posed and directed? Such good boys and girls.