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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Isle Of Dogs"

Throughout history, there have been a number of times where a ruling class forced people to leave their homes for various reasons. For instance, last century, the United states forced Japanese Americans from their homes and put them into internment camps in World War II, with some of them in the region I grew up in. Imagine the horror of having to leave your life and home behind against your will. Some say it still goes on today in the form of Eminent Domain (to a much lesser degree) in which I can see both sides.

“Isle of Dogs” is the new animated film directed by Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and features the voice talents of Bryan Cranston (Argo, Malcolm in the Middle), Koyu Rankin (Juken, The Mojo Stars), Edward Norton (The Illusionist, The People Vs. Larry Flint), Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, Capote), Kunichi Nomura (Lost in translation, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Bill Murray (Caddyshack, Ghostbusters), Jeff Goldblum (Jurrasic Park, Independence Day), Greta Gerwig (Greenberg, Mistress America), Frances McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous), Scarlett Johansson (Her, The Avengers), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer, Doctor Strange), Harvey Kietel (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), and Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). It takes place in the fictional city of Megasaki, where authoritarian Mayor Kobayashi (Nomura) bans dogs after a virus spreads amongst them, along with an ulterior motive. As they are sent to the abandoned Trash Island, the first dog sent off is Spots (Schreiber), the guard dog the mayor’s orphaned nephew, Atari (Rankin). When Atari goes after Spots, he crash lands on Trash Island and winds up with a pack that includes Duke (Goldblum), Rex (Norton), King (Balaban), Boss (Murray), and Chief (Cranston). Back in the city, there is a foreign exchange student named Tracy (Gerwig) who sees the underlying conspiracy on why the dogs were sent away, and what follows is the pack of dogs helping Atari find Spots and lead their friends home.

Much like Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, this film is done in the stop-motion animation style, which I did like overall. When it comes to the vocal work, there is a very incredible cast in this film, but unfortunately, it was difficult for me to separate the voice from the actor, such as Goldblum or Murray. Don’t get me wrong, they are great, but is a double edge sword using such famous people. When it comes to the story, I did like it although at one point, the film did seem a little long. “Isle of Dogs” is good for most of the family starting at the early teens due to there being some adult references. There is a lot of good comedy spread throughout this film with some really good “out of nowhere” moments. There is also some underlying story in this film that brings attention to the current political climate of today without being too preachy, and given all of this, I will recommend it as a Saturday afternoon showing in the theaters.

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