Dir; Wes Anderson. Starring; Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray. PG-13. Color. 101 min.
When you think of stories that deal with humanity or have political statements, stop-motion animation is not the first thing to pop into your head. Along comes “Isle of Dogs”. A multi-layered film that resonates. Director Wes Anderson has crafted a “Tail” of corruption, loss, and discovery.
In the near future, Japan has sent all dogs infected with a disease to a trash island just off the cost. The former dog owners have turned their backs on these once beloved companions, choosing government over personal friendship. These pets have been cast off, and must now survive in a literal pile of shit. A new community is created. The dogs must adapt and move forward. Each has their name, label, and purpose. Suddenly, a young boy named Atari lands on this trash island. This boy is lost, but also desperate to find his old dog/friend Spots. It is up to a motley crew of personalities trying to reconnect friends. Along the way, this group of cast offs must find themselves too.
A Wes Anderson movie is always rewarding. The stop-motion animation is amazing. Beautifully constructed shots, witty characters and dialogue, snarky social commentary. No matter what movie of his you’re viewing, it is clear you are watching a Wes Anderson picture. That is the sign of a true artist.
“Isle of Dogs” is not for everyone. There is a level of racism towards the Japanese culture that must be addressed. I think it’s funny, as much as I enjoy laughing at how stupid white people are. That is what Anderson is going for. However, no surprise if this offends people. I also find this film an important political statement that is relevant. Yes, they are pets. But somehow “Isle of Dogs” makes four-legged friends more sympathetic than the humans in the theater.
Written by Byrd
1 out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!
What do you think? Did this movie SUCK? Did you enjoy it? Leave your comments below.
This film is mid-level Anderson. His style is always a little distancing, but in his best films (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore) we come to care about the characters. Perhaps because most of the human dialogue is in Japanese and untranslated, we can’t really bring ourselves to care about Atari the way some of the other characters in the movie do. Even the fate of the dogs is somewhat offhanded.
When the dogs get separated from Atari and Chief to face this machine of destruction, we get short cuts back to them as their faces get sootier. There’s no real consequence to the sequence. Compare that to Toy Story 3, when the toys face roughly the same kind of machine, and there isn’t a dry eye in the house. The film is interesting to look at, and has its moments, but it’s more of an exercise that an entertainment.