Isle of Dogs is the latest film from acclaimed director Wes Anderson. When talking about films outside of the Hollywood norm, you will often hear his name pop up. Even if you have never seen a film by him, you know about him. His films are extremely unique in every aspect, with his combined use of symmetry, unique color palates, deadpan performances and flat camerawork. It is impossible to mistake him for anyone else. Since the beginning of his career he has made films which are beloved by many, such as Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and many more have all become household names in some respect.
His latest film Isle of Dogs is no exception, in fact the film is exceptionally good. This marks Wes Anderson’s latest foray into animation since Fantastic Mr. Fox, and as much as I loved that film, I felt Isle of Dogs is a massive improvement in every respect. The animation is more fluid, and everything feels so incredibly polished.
Wes Anderson is notorious for sharp, well written dialogue, and Isle of Dogs further justifies that. I found myself sometimes dying of laughter, while being completely taken aback by something dark and depressing moments later. While this can appear tonally inconsistent, Wes Anderson always finds a way to make it work.
Isle of Dogs is the first film of 2018 to truly garner a true reaction out of me. While other films I’ve seen have come and gone, I still find myself thinking about Isle of Dogs to this date. I found it to be extremely charming and I found both the fictional city of Megasaki and the trash island in which the dogs inhabit to be extremely breathtaking and creative.
It would not be a Wes Anderson movie without an all-star cast of his frequent collaborators, such as Bill Murray, Edward Norton, plus a whole heap of other big names which would take up the entirety of this article if I were to name them one by one. Some standout performances are from Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson.
Another highlight of the film for me was the musical score from Alexandre Desplat. It really added to the atmosphere of the film, and really helped move the movie at a great pace.
As much as I loved the pacing of the film, I feel it may flow a little too fast for some people. A lot of information is thrown all at once, which could be to the film’s detriment; however, for me, it just makes me want to see it again and again.
I am a big Wes Anderson fan; however, I can safely say that this is in fact my favorite film by him. It really impacted me and I want to share this film with as many people I know.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 13 on April 25, 2018