Isle of Dogs (PG)

Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs is a tale of misfits, learning how to fend for themselves after being rejected by the world. At some point we’ve all struggled to fit in, let’s be honest, and Wes Anderson uses this to his advantage to strike a chord with us all.

A ragtag group of dogs led by Chief (Bryan Cranston) live on the aptly named Trash Island. Following an outbreak of dog flu man’s best friend was cast aside and left to thrive or die under order of Major Kobayashi.

The misfits add one more member to their group when a young boy crash lands on to the island. Atari (Koyu Ranklin) is searching for his beloved dog Spots (Liev Schreiber).

Chief isn’t sure about the young boy at first. It was the humans that shipped them off like trash and left them here after all. But soon he sees the sincerity in Atari’s heart and agrees to help locate his lost dog.

What happens next is an all out war for the truth, for freedom, for love.

Wes Anderson is one of my all-time favourite directors up their with Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and Stanley Kubrick.

Anderson’s unique directorial style makes his movies a genre of their own, unlike anything else we’ve seen before. I’d like to say that Isle of Dogs is yet another triumph, up there with the likes of its Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel and of course, the animated classic Fantastic Mr Fox.

But sadly I can’t. Despite a lovingly thought through story line it often juts of course making for a less than even ride. It has moments of sincerity interspersed with Anderson’s signature awkward family dynamic but fails to deliver the normal amount of heart and punch.

Saying that though, the cast is second to none with Anderson favourites like Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum. Plus the Isle of Dogs soundtrack is mesmerising, bringing you right back to those dramatic moments.

By Ruth Walker

★★★☆☆

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