Inaugurating the Berlin Film Festival for the second time, Wes Anderson offers another richly detailed universe. While much of the charm of The Grand Budapest Hotel was provided by a lot of eccentric interesting characters and an energetic plot, Isle of Dogs struggles to maintain our sympathy and attract our attention. In fact, the plot seems made to marvel Anderson's landscapes, in an imaginary future of Japan.
In a dystopian near-future Japan, a dog-flu virus spreads throughout the canine population. Though one scientist, Professor Watanabe, is close to finding a cure, the authoritarian mayor of Megasaki City, Kenji Kobayashi, signs a decree banishing all dogs to Trash Island. The first exile is Spots, who belonged to Atari Kobayashi, the orphaned nephew and ward of the mayor.
One of the things that kept the interest of The Grand Budapest Hotel was a series of famous cameos. Many of the same names appear on this film, but only as animated dog voices who look directly to the camera and deliver their lines with a minimal expression. Bryan Cranston gives a good voice to Spots with the support of Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and even Yoko Ono.
There is a lot of thinkings in Isle of Dogs, so the experience offered has to do more with admire the creative ideas and the materialised ones of the filmmaker, that with the enjoyment of a story that really catches your attention.
the story is too complex
The brightest of the new proposal is its extremely spectacular deployment, although it is a production of everything artisanal, albeit with the competition of the digital. A production that has occupied four and a half years, two of them shooting, in which a true army of professionals has intervened: 670 specialists; 70 of them manufacturing the articulated puppets (about a thousand, handmade, on various scales and more than 38 dedicated to the animation). It is also remarkable for all its nuances, is the music of the tape, at position of Alexandre Desplat
There are beautiful things here, not just the presumption that bark is the only language we can understand and the world created by Anderson has, as always, its own set of rules but the story is too complex. Although many fans of Anderson will undoubtedly be able to unlock the visual delights of the movie, the rest of us will find too much garbage.