#REVIEW: “ISLE OF DOGS”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Isle of Dogs takes place in Magasaki City, Japan. When there is a rise in Dog Flu and Snout Fever, the Mayor makes an executive order to remove all canines from the city, exiling them to Trash Island. One day 12-year-old Atari (Koyu Rankin) sets off alone on a miniature plane from Magasaki City to Trash Island to search for his guard-dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber). When he arrives he meets a pack of canines, consisting of Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and King (Bob Balaban), who soon become his close allies and help him on this political journey.
Writer-Director Wes Anderson creates a beautifully Stop-Motion Animation Film that is loaded with his signature wry banter. There is exceptional attention to detail in all aspects of this adventure. Making Anderson’s second leap with stop-motion a remarkable one. And the playful aesthetic is further effective against the grotesque inhumanity of some of the characters. And it is in those appalling moments that Anderson adds themes of the current political climate. All this, while incorporating his unique wry humour which his Voice-Actors alleviate.
His perfectly cast Ensemble knock it out of the park, bite after bite. Cranston is fantastic as the closed-off stray Chief who warms to his new companion. Norton is joyous as the wannabe canine leader Rex. Murray is comical of the depressing Boss who used to be a lead mascot for an undefeated high school baseball team. Yet, out of the pack Goldblum is the stand-out as the hilarious gossip junkie Duke. For the voices of the humans, Greta Gerwig as the American international exchange student-journalist Tracy Walker is endearing. While Frances McDormand does the impossible and crafts a hysterical Interpreter Nelson.
Overall, Isle of Dogs is a heartwarming Fable that is shot beautifully, outstandingly creative and rich in smart humour.
Fox Searchlight release ISLE OF DOGS on Friday, March 23, 2018 in Toronto, additional cities to follow.