Four years after wowing critics at the Berlin Film Festival with “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson has done it again with his latest, “Isle of Dogs.” The stop-motion animated movie opened Berlinale on a “scintillating” high, according to the first round of reviews. Critics are also calling the movie “extraordinary” and both Anderson’s most “daring” and “imaginative” film to date.
Here’s what critics have to say about “Isle of Dogs” in the first round of reviews out of the Berlin Film Festival.
The worse things get, the more fantastical Anderson’s films become; the more fantastical Anderson’s films become, the better their style articulates his underlying sincerity. Disorder fuels his imagination, and the staggeringly well-crafted “Isle of Dogs” is nothing if not Anderson’s most imaginative film to date.
A winningly dippy hodgepooch of lo-fi sci-fi, band-of-outsiders adventure and the most meme-ready canine antics you’ll find outside of YouTube, this leisurely tale of abandoned mutts taking on a corrupt human government is effectively puppy-treat cinema: small, salty, perhaps not an entire meal, but rewarding nonetheless.
Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is a visual and narrative delight. It uses stop-motion animation, and a cast mostly made up of talking dogs, to tell a dark and sadly timely story of a citizenry turning on their own friends and neighbors in a time of fear.
Everything you might expect to be cute, charming and generally edible about a canine-themed Wes Anderson stop-motion animation is spectacularly upended, then poured into a landfill, during Isle of Dogs. Just unveiled as the Berlin Film Festival’s star-packed opening night film, as The Grand Budapest Hotel was before it, 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.
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.
This hugely enjoyable package shows an indefatigably fertile imagination letting rip in inimitable style – and packing an eco-themed, antibigotry message as well. You can rest assured, Anderson ain’t selling us no pup.