There is so much detail in the breakneck race from image to image that Isle of Dogs will reward multiple viewings as much as any Anderson film, visually if not narratively.
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The staggeringly well-crafted Isle of Dogs is nothing if not Anderson’s most imaginative film to date.
The unique charm of Isle of Dogs is its bottomless vault of curios, its sly humor, playful graphic inserts and dexterous narrative detours.
So lush with gorgeous detail it’s like a piece of highly-textured haute couture, there’s also a sharp social message behind the elaborate seams.
If mounds of garbage aren’t quite what viewers have come to associate with Planet Wes, the slight scuzziness of Isle of Dogs is its great surprise: From the occasional eye-watering blurriness of its fast tracking shots to the loopy, laissez-faire nature of its storytelling, the whole enterprise might just be as messy as the director lets himself get.
As far as representation goes, the stunning, brimful, extraordinary Isle of Dogs can’t really be said to do anyone’s culture a disservice. Except cat lovers, who should probably mount a boycott.
The film is packed with laugh-out-loud moments, full of deadpan observations – a quintessential Anderson touch – and exciting sequences.
One does not necessarily have to be fond of canines in order to love Isle of Dogs, but it helps. It may also help to have a fondness for the meticulous craft of stop-motion animation itself or, even more interestingly perhaps, for Japanese cinema. It is a delightful, exquisitely-detailed production.
Anderson is clearly a massive talent working, again, in his prime. However uncomfortable, it's crucial to ask what gives him the right to romp around in all these signifiers in service of bespoke whimsy—but then the word for it isn't “right,” but rather privilege.
This is by some measure Anderson’s weirdest concoction ever, in all sorts of good ways. And it probably counts as his most daring, too.