Isle Of Dogs (Dog Friendly Screening) (PG)



Comedy (2018)
101mins US/Ger

Starring: Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Koyu Rankin, Bryan Cranston
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer(s): Wes Anderson
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Mayor Kobayashi is responsible for the well-being of the gullible citizens of Megasaki. As an ardent cat lover, Kobayashi decrees that the only way to eradicate an outbreak of virulent snout fever is to exile canines to a remote island, where Megasaki dumps its residential waste. The Mayor's 12-year-old ward Atari is forced to bid farewell to his shaggy companion, Spots. The resourceful tyke defies the Mayor to steal a plane and fly to the island to be reunited with his pet.

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LondonNet Film Review
Isle Of Dogs (PG)

Since his critically acclaimed debut feature Bottle Rocket, writer-director Wes Anderson has skipped merrily down the path less travelled with offbeat ensemble comedies including the Oscar-winning magnum ludicrous, The Grand Budapest. In 2009, he dipped his big toe into stop-motion animation with a quirky adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox. The auteur returns to the painstaking art form for this self-consciously offbeat buddy comedy on two and four legs. Isle Of Dogs reunites the filmmaker with longtime collaborators behind and in front of the camera including cinematographer Tristan Oliver and composer Alexandre Desplat. Anderson employs an episodic structure with pithy chapter headings like The Little Pilot, The Rendezvous and Atari's Lantern to neatly bookmark his visually stunning odyssey. The detail of miniature sets and character figures is remarkable and there are some lovely touches like multiple uses for cotton wool and lice slaloming through dogs' matted fur in skin-crawling close-up. Yoko Ono enjoys a throwaway cameo as a plucky research scientist called ... Yoko Ono. The film is arch, knowing and impeccably conceived but emotionally a tad chilly, revelling in the inventiveness and imagination of the writer-director's unique vision at the expense of collaring our emotions for a satisfying walk...

Isle Of Dogs. Caption: Chief (voiced by Bryan Cranston), King (Bob Balaban), Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin), Boss (Bill Murray), Rex (Edward Norton) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum) in Isle Of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson. Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Set on the Japanese Archipelago 20 years into the future, the film's chief villain is self-serving politician Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura), who is responsible for the well-being of the gullible citizens of Megasaki. As an ardent cat lover, Kobayashi decrees that the only way to eradicate an outbreak of virulent snout fever is to exile canines to a remote island, where Megasaki dumps its residential waste. Voters comply and the Mayor's 12-year-old ward Atari (Koyu Rankin) is forced to bid farewell to his shaggy companion, Spots.

The resourceful tyke defies the Mayor and menacing henchman Major Domo (Akira Takayama) to steal a plane and fly to the island to be reunited with his pet. Atari crash-lands and befriends a disparate pack of mangy mutts including Chief (Bryan Cranston), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), Rex (Edward Norton) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum). They embark on a daredevil mission to overturn the Mayor's edict. "That kid is going to get us all put to sleep," forlornly growls one dog. Thankfully, Atari has allies in a visiting American girl (Greta Gerwig) and a seductive show dog named Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson).

Isle Of Dogs lollops along at a brisk pace, laced with flashes of Anderson's droll humour. The vocal cast chews on these verbal bones with relish, particularly Goldblum as a dog with a penchant for listening to wicked whispers. Visually, this is leaps and bounds ahead of Fantastic Mr Fox but retains the same roughly hewn charm, albeit with a distinctive eastern aesthetic. East meets west and we get the best of both madcap worlds.

- Jo Planter

Isle Of Dogs. Caption: Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura) and Major Domo (Akira Takayama) in Isle Of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson. Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


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