Isle of Dogs. The New Wes Anderson: Movie Review


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Is it an ode to Millwall?  Is it a statement of undying adoration for our four legged friends?  Is it a literal description of his movie which features an archipelago where Japanese canine’s are despatched offshore?

Whatever it is Wes Anderson’s latest minutiae-packed art form is a thing that inspires awe.

You simply have to ADMIRE Wes Anderson’s work because no-one (not even Guillermo Del Toro) approaches his craft with such precision, such forensic detail and because this latest epic is created in stop frame animation he has the opportunity to go microscopic; boy does he take it.

I’ve never seen a stop frame animation so beautifully lit.  Nick Park is no slouch but he prefers grand gestures, huge laughs and bold statement.  Nothing like this detail.  This art.

That all makes it sound sterile, fussy perhaps, but it’s not.  Under the art lies a beating heart of humour and passion for our fine four legged friends that no-one else could get even CLOSE to emulating.

It’s a bit too long, I’ll grant you that.  And some think its Japanese-ist (I don’t buy that).  It’s not a pastiche of Japan, as some say, it’s an homage.

The thrilling ‘Taiko’ drumming that sets the wheels in motion relentlessly underscores a movie that takes Japaneseness to thrilling heights of respect, with some humour of course – it’s Wes.

The, rather slight, story, is about a vile Japanese city-dictator, and cat-lover, banishing all of Megasaki’s  scabrous dogs to a toxic island of waste.  Thereafter it follows the quest of a young boy trying to rescue his pet, Spots, from this hideous prison.

The voices are great, but best by a mile is Bryan Cranston’s as the lead stray, Chief.

You can read the detail elsewhere.  But a Wes Anderson movie is a Wes Anderson movie and for that reason it has to score highly.

It’s stunning, gorgeous, brilliant and nearly as good as Grand Budapest Hotel.  But not quite.