Isle of Dogs
Review by Myla Tosatto
Just so you know right up front, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my all-time favorite movies. I think Wes Anderson is a genius (that’s right, I said genius)*. So when I saw a preview for his new stop motion animation film, Isle of Dogs, I about fell out of my seat with excitement. I just knew Isle of Dogs was going to be a whimsical, enigmatic masterpiece. Not to toot my own horn, but I was right. Isle of Dogs is beautiful and crazy and 100% Wes Anderson.
In futuristic Japan, dogs have been outlawed to the Island of Trash due to illness that could affect humans. The “Young Pilot” Atari (Koyu Rankin), sets off to find his bodyguard/dog Spots (Liev Schreiber) with the help of Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum), and Chief (Bryan Cranston). Along the way they will find help from Tracy (Greta Gerwig), Nutmeg (Scarlet Johansson), Gondo (Harvey Keitel), Jupiter (F.Murray Abraham), and Oracle (Tilda Swinton). Will Atari find Spots? Will the dogs survive the island? Will the high school resistance prevail? Will the cat loving humans win? You will just have to see the movie to find out.
Though there were lots of kids at my screening, I’m not sure how appropriate it is for them. Not that it’s inappropriate, mind you, it just may be over their heads at times. Since the action takes place in Japan, the human dialog is in Japanese and is only sometimes translated by Interpreter Nelson (Frances McDormand). Other human dialog is in subtitled or just left there to be figured out by context. Only the dogs and Tracy speak in English. Plus, it’s weird and random (like any good Wes Anderson movie should be) and ALL over the place. Kids younger than middle school may not get it. But you? You’ll get it and you will be enchanted.
Now, there are some allegories and metaphors rooted throughout this movie. I am not deep enough to help you figure those out. You’re on your own. I did deduce that the film implies dogs are good and that cats are evil. We all know that’s wrong. Cats are FAR superior to dogs.
*If you have never seen the Fantastic Mr. Fox, please do (cuss yeah!). I would also highly recommend ALL of his movies, but especially Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel. You. Are. Welcome.
Purchase discounted tickets by using Dealflicks.com! Feel free to save an additional 20% by using the code RFGGTRFLUF at checkout!
Isle of Dogs is NOW playing in theaters!