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Isle of Dogs: An Experience not for Most Tourists

Check out Bethany's review:

Submitted by Joel on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:02

This was a tough movie for me to review. Wes Anderson is original and witty and tells a unique story. I like to reward visionaries. But he is unapologetic in his decision to really not care what audiences enjoy. Why do artsy movies have to be so boring?!! If you like any of Wes Anderson's movies, you'll probably like this one, too. It's got it all: Japanese with subtitles, Japanese without subtitles, quirky characters, and a story from a familiar, yet alien world. I liked more than I disliked, but this movie really isn't my taste. It's very slow and the characters aren't anything like reality. It's a journey into another world that I just don't really care about. 

Isle of Dogs is an animated-ish, stop-motion-ish movie about a government figure wanting to rid his area of dogs and sending them to an island of garbage. While it takes place in Japan, it's not our reality. Dogs are really more like people that can pick locks and speak several languages and whistle. But they aren't anthropomorphized, either. They're kinda like Brian from Family Guy. They're dogs, just, with more intelligence and abilities. But they play the same role as dogs from our world. Which doesn't make sense to me, of course, but there you have it. Making sense isn't really the purpose of a journey like this. 

So, the dogs have it rough, but the nephew of the mayor in charge of this operation comes to save his dog from the island. The kid speaks Japanese, and none of the dogs helping him do, which is kinda funny and clever. It's like dogs have their own language and humans speak a different language, so there are barriers. It turns out, though, no... some dogs can speak Japanese, so why are these Japanese dogs struggling with Japanese?! 

I really struggle with movies like this. To me, they are like cubism. They resemble reality, but are distorted versions. I appreciate the art, but I have a hard time attaching myself to the characters or story. I'm glad I saw it, but I wish it took less of my time.