REVIEW — “Isle Of Dogs”
Rumor has it Wes Anderson is unable to make a bad movie
Isle of Dogs is a stop-motion animated film written and directed by Wes Anderson starring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Fisher Stevens, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Bob Balaban, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Frank Wood and Yoko Ono. It tells the story of a dystopian near-future Japan and follows a young boy who goes in search of his dog after the whole species is banished to an island due to an illness outbreak. Now I will have to show my hand. I am a huge Wes Anderson fan. I love pretty much all of his work, and I Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my favorites, if not my favorite movie. So I was very hyped for this, it was my 2nd most anticipated release of the year, only beat out by Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade. While it may not reach the heights of some of his other works, Isle of Dogs is a delightful, charming, and beautiful film with great voice acting and a sweet story. I don’t know if my expectations would ever be met, but regardless, I loved it.
Wes Anderson is one of my absolute favorite directors. He is one of the most unique and inventive directors working in the mainstream so any project he’s connected too is a must-see for me. He is clearly at home here and really runs with the medium he is working with. While it is mainly stop motion, Anderson plays around with many types of animation here and basically, every shot is art. He has such an understanding of what he wants to make and a firm grasp of the movie. He writes and directs with such an energy that it’s almost impossible to dislike it. He amps his trademarks up too 11 and runs with whatever he can get away with. The dialogue is sharp and funny and the all the characters are so great and likable. Anderson has added another great film to his filmography and I can’t wait to see what he does next. However, if you are new to Anderson’s work, watch out. This might be the most Wes Anderson Wes Anderson has ever Wes Anderson’d.
One of Isle Of Dogs biggest draws was its’ fantastic voice cast and they definitely deliver. If all of the advertising simply ready “Bryan Cranston plays a dog” I would have shown up opening day. Bryan Cranston does a great job as the lead and he is able to deliver a heartfelt emotionally compelling performance as our lead, but you already knew that. While there are a few compelling human characters, the dogs shine here as unique and funny characters you can really latch onto. Bill Murray and Edward Norton are very funny additions to the film and deliver some of the films best jokes but my favorite might be Jeff Goldblum. His character joins the ranks of Wes Anderson’s best characters here as he steals every scene he is in. I could watch a spin-off about his character. I wanted to see more of all of them.
I’ll get this out of the way. Isle of Dogs is a technical masterpiece. Every single damn shot is a painting and I could star at this forever. It feels like I’m simply watching art at times. Every single frame could be a great wallpaper or a twitter header. Anderson got to go all out with his style and I’m glad he did because I’m gonna see this as many times on the big screen as I can. The cinematography is gorgeous and the stop motion is wonderful. Anderson delivers another great soundtrack and the score is very interesting too. What more can I say about this, it’s a stop motion Wes Anderson film, of course, it’ll be technically perfect. Go see this on the biggest screen possible. I cannot wait for the Blu-Ray to come out for this.
So, as you can tell, I loved Isle Of Dogs. While it didn’t come close to topping the perfect Fantastic Mr. Fox, I made sure not to focus on that and let myself enjoy the delightful film I was watching. 4.5/5