Isle of Dogs

Spots! Spots!

We get the idea you’re looking for your lost dog- Spots. Does anybody know him?

I’ll start by saying, it was Atari Kobayashi’s (Koyu Rankin’s) way of shouting “Spots! Spots!” that made me come to see this film. Every Time I watched the trailers it filled me with a renewed sense of happiness and I don’t even know why. Additionally, I was excited to see how the animation style would work as it looked different to anything else I had seen before. Furthermore, I am told ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ are both great films but I haven’t seen either and therefore have not experienced Wes Anderson’s direction in a film prior to this one. Despite this large number of contributing factors that finally lead to my viewing of this film, I was still anxious as to whether I would enjoy it.

Director- Wes Anderson

Stars- Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton and Bill Murray

Genre- Animated adventure

Running Time- 101 minutes

What is it about?

The Japanese Archipelago years in the future, lead by Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura,) exile all dogs to Trash Island, after an outbreak of dog flu and snout fever that threatens to cross the species barrier. The first dog to be exiled is Atari Kobayashi’s (Koyu Rankin’s) bodyguard dog, Spots (Liev Schrieber.) To get his dog back he embarks on a journey to Trash Island accompanied by a group of “Scary Alpha Dogs”, lead by Chief (Bryan Cranston.) Over the course of the film, they make their way across the island to discover the fate of the lost dog, Spots.

What did I think?

This film is exceptional and I really mean that. It just has so much going for it that it’s hard not to LOVE. It is witty with: funny interchanges of dialogue, small comedy sequences and smart one liners; that really enhance our experience and bring light to, what on the surface, is quite a grim topic. This humour, at no point detracts or disguises the serious tone of the film which is rich in strong character development, plot twists and very contemporary themes. I thought the animation was incredible and worked perfectly with the world that was introduced and constructed throughout. I really empathised with each human and dog character’s plight, as all of their individual struggles were articulately explained over the film’s running time. There was a clear explicit message delivered that will work for all ages but the reason it will work so universally is because you can draw a number of inferences from the film that are individual to you.

There is only one real thing that could be done for me to make this film any better and if I am honest I don’t know how it could be executed. What I wanted was to be more emotionally moved when we reached the climax of the film. Sure, I was affected, but I feel like I could have been in tears. Although I concede that is a very weak argument, on the whole, it was hard to find any other loopholes in such a genuinely, brilliant film.

Conclusion: Congratulations Wes Anderson, I am your newest fan. I am sure to watch your other films as soon as I can and I look forward to seeing any future work. Great job!

Rating: 9/10

My amended Top 3 of the Year:

  1. Call Me By Your Name
  2. Get Out
  3. Isle of Dogs

(So that pushes The Shape of Water out of the Top 3)

If you enjoyed reading this post please like and follow and follow me on my Instagram @judesfilmreviews. And make sure to stay tuned for more film reviews and news.

Jude šŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “Isle of Dogs

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