Isle of Dogs Review

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image vis Creative Screen Writing

A year in which Wes Anderson has made a movie is here, but the question remains if it satisfies. An island near Japan is now a dumpster ground for all the dogs of the country with the means to prevent a disease from spreading. Couple years later, a young boy, Atari, embarks on an adventure to find his best friend he so misses, Spots. A group of dogs decides to help him on the journey as they face the government’s heavy opposition.

The movie sets an example for meticulously cohesive story compositions. To understand my testament we would have to talk about the dialogue which not only carries the story progression forward. It also takes center stage to reveal the little bits and pieces of information, character moods, thoughts, and states. It’s astounding seeing how much the screenwriters stuffed into each conversation. Given, focusing on speech does sometimes get repetitive and starts to feel overwhelming especially during the exposition-heavy parts.

However, within the vast amount of talking there is a healthy amount of “show and don’t tell” applied. These scenes usually give out the most personality adding to some neat gags and hidden nods which pay off later on. The varying flow accomplishes to tell the story in a more intriguing way. A story that doesn’t shift can be a bit boring at times. The main characters in majority offer a complimentary inclusion. It’s the more minor ones, those usually being the humans, that happen to be distractions. They pull back the story from finding a good way to balance some of its humor even causing a messy third act. Finally, the solid use of an animation so rarely seen also deserves some praise.

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image via Variety

In general, Isle of Dogs is a cute little film. The story is simplistic and it has its unique methods to keep the reader distracted from it. It’s more focused on finding new ways to tell a story rather than make one tightly engaging. For that, it would be foolish not to recognize its beauty, yet I do have to keep in mind how it’ll fair on a second watch. The ambitious project does lose its coherency towards the end preventing to satisfy in a way that would have matched its quality and unique style.


I did like how Wes Anderson didn’t choose to translate Japanese. Seriously, some of its stylistic choices were refreshingly fun to sit through. Also, I am now using an out of 10 system to score movies. It took me a while to find my preferred one and I think this one will stay.

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