Movie review: Isle of Dogs

01 Jun 2018 / 10:42 H.

IF YOU are a big fan of Wes Anderson’s movies, then you will embrace this one as well.
This is Anderson’s second stop-motion animated film, and just like his first, the 2009 Fantastic Mr Fox, there are loads of dry humour, hilarious situations, and great characters.
We are told by the narrator (Courtney B. Vance) that the dogs will converse in English, while most of the humans will converse in Japanese.
The story is set in the fictional Megasaki City, Japan, a city with a long history of canines roaming free until the Kobayashi clan decided to get rid of them.
However, a boy samurai put a stop to it, and the dogs have lived in harmony with humans ever since.
Now in the near future, dog-hating Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura) uses a recent outbreak of dog flu to have all these animals shipped to Trash Island where they are left to die.
However, some managed to survive.

One pack is made up of de facto leader Rex (Edward Norton), former team mascot Boss (Bill Murray), former dog food spokesdog King (Bob Balaban), gossip Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and tough dog Chief (Bryan Cranston).
When Atari (Koyu Rankin), the 12-year-old ward of the Kobayashi clan, crashes his little plane on the island while trying to find his beloved dog Spots (Liev Schreiber), the pack – with a reluctance Chief – decides to help him.
However, Kobayashi’s goons (and their robot dogs) try to stop them.
Meanwhile in Megasaki City, a band of student activists, including American exchange student-cum-conspiracy theorist Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig), is out to stop Kobayashi and save Atari and the dogs.
Essentially, this is a fun tale with more than a few head-scratching moments. Still, if you don’t look too deep or analyse it too closely, you will have a good time.

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