Wes Anderson’s ISLE OF DOGS
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I’ve long been a fan of things Japanese. My earliest hobbies leaned towards Japanese transistorized electronics and Japanese science fiction movies (such as The Mysterians). I’ve kept up my interest in Japanese cinema and have developed a strong historical interest in understanding both sides of the Pacific War.
When I learned Wes Anderson’s ISLE OF DOGS was coming there was no question I would see it, with expectations high, as soon as it came out.
As much as I have enjoyed Anderson’s other movies I was not prepared for this movie’s unique look and its odd story. I’ve always been a fan of “alternate reality” and alternate history” stories but ISLE OF DOGS is in a class by itself. It’s charming, funny, exciting, and at times, just plain weird.
Not everyone will like this film. On the surface it may seem silly, slight, and overly sentimental in parts.
But I love the astounding care and attention that have gone into even the tiniest of details. For example, look at the individual cherry blossoms that float onto the dogs’ faces at the very end of the movie. Even the music with its occasional references to classic Japanese cinema will bring a smile to the face of the savvy viewer.
I smiled a lot during this movie. Admittedly I was reminded of our own beloved family dog of 16 years and remember sometimes wondering, "What if he could speak? What is he thinking?"
While you don’t have to be a “Japanaholic” to love this film, just be prepared for something that’s simultaneously whimsical and suspiciously meaningful.
Movie review copyright 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald. For more movie reviews go here.