Every so often due to narrow distribution or a small showing time it is difficult to get to a theatre and see a movie you’ve been looking forward to seeing on the silver screen. Luckily here at Reel World Theology all is not lost when we would have to drive out of state to see an auteur’s vision the way it was meant to be seen. You see we have an ancient relic in the back of one of our old dusty closets. It is a crystal ball made from the melted down camera lenses of old movie sets with bits of old celluloid sparkling inside. When forces greater than ourselves keep us from reviewing movies you may be able to see that we can’t we just gaze into our crystal ball and see visions of the movie (Don’t worry we don’t record the visions for copyright reasons). This is one such review of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.
As I stare deeply into the crystal ball I see much symmetry. Not surprising considering Wes’s track record, but it also reveals deep suffering in the viewers. Viewers beware: you will begin to notice that your own home and life are not as symmetrical as Mr. Anderson’s shots. You will begin to ask your friends and family to face forward and step slightly to one side so you can see them in more balance. I see scenes of grains of rice filling the screen and all the grains are at 90 degree angles to one another. Hold on a second, it’s making me a little dizzy.
Ok, I’m back. I see a boy with family issues as I gaze deeper into the celluloid fragments. His only relationship is a dog that he’s been separated from…never mind I’m seeing bits of the trailer. Here we go. Now this is interesting! It seems Wes Anderson has tried to appeal to a wider audience. I see him taking advice from Michael Bay! Expect lots of explosions and robots. I see a third act twist.
*Future spoiler alert*
I see Godzilla terrorizing the city and the dogs and humans uniting to defeat it. It reminds me of the fight for Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings (again appealing to a wider audience). It is a little disturbing to me that the giant lizard is speaking in a racist accent while all the human characters are speaking perfect Japanese, but the animation is stunning. Actually the fire breathing is a little strobe like so be careful if you are prone to seizures.
In foresight, Isle of Dogs is as funny and charming as The Grand Budapest Hotel with the great stop-motion animation style of Fantastic Mr. Fox. As the crystal ball is never even close to wrong sorry for all the spoilers, but at least you now know whether Isle of Dogs is worth the effort to seek out and find a showing that isn’t sold out. Look for our follow-up review where we’ll fill in the gaps the crystal ball left out.