If you say out loud the movie title "Isle Of Dogs," you may have noticed that it sounds like saying "I Love Dogs." It's like a nice small easter egg for the movie, but it also makes me wonder if that was the sole reason why this film was made in the first place. Either way, just from that alone, it should easily be surmised that if you love dogs, then you may as well see this movie. If you are more of a cat lover, well... maybe you might not have to?
This is another attempt by Director Wes Anderson to do a puppet movie. If you are already familiar with his films, then there shouldn't be a lot of surprises with how this movie goes. Whimsical premise. Quirky situations. Symmetrical cinematography. Deadpan humor. Idealized settings. Eccentric story telling. Even with the fact that the main characters of this movie are dogs, all that still applies... except now from the perspective of man's best friend.
One of the first things that I noticed when I first started watching this movie is that wow there's a lot of stereotypical depictions of Japan and it's culture, but I'm once again reminded that this is an idealized version of the country. There are roughly three main human characters that get some attention, with two of them being tolerable, and one of them being kinda annoying. You'll know what I mean when you see the movie.
While we're on the subject of the human characters, I did like the idea that we're suppose to understand what the dogs are saying; in English, but from their perspective they don't understand what humans actually say; in Japanese (unless you're a Japanese speaker already). I'd like to think that they should re-dub all the voices of the dogs in other parts of the world to fit the regional language, to keep with this theme.
As for the dogs themselves, I couldn't help but automatically be fans for those characters. Their mannerisms, what I assume would be how they talk to each other, how they see the world, the alpha, the pack, and the whole thing about strays vs house pets, are all just fantastic. The best parts of this movie are essentially the majority of the scenes involving the dogs, and all the little commentaries, reactions, and interactions. At times I appreciated that there was a somewhat grounded natural feel to how the dogs act, but it isn't above focusing heavily on the more fantastical take of what these dogs can do either.
If I was to have any complaints about "Isle Of Dogs;" besides the Japanese stereotypes and the whole "white savior" thing, it would be some of the plot conveniences, and logical flaws, that this movie uses to move the story along. Your suspension of disbelief will be tested at one point or another. Also considering that this was set in Japan, I would have liked to have seen more Japanese dogs though; like the Akita Inu or the Kai Ken. So beyond those issues, as someone who loves Dogs, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the heck out of this movie!
lovedit ENJOYED IT likedititsokayitsmehitsterrible