Sometimes, trailers are quite deceptive for movies, but this is an occasion of truth in advertising. I can’t say the trailer is in any way deceptive of what this movie is–so watch it, and if you’re excited, you should go see it. If you hate it, then odds are slim-to-none you’ll enjoy this…
What Works: For sheer, pound-for-pound weirdness Wes Anderson’s latest animated oddity tops “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” [Although “Fox” was a better all-around movie.] If you’ve always wondered–as I have–why animation doesn’t take more risks (after all, it’s just a medium for storytelling, not a genre really), then this is something you’ll be interested in. An ace voice-cast includes Anderson regulars like Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, etc. but it’s company new-man Bryan Cranston that absolutely steals the film. His stray alpha-dog is like an Old West hero in canine form: surprisingly noble and tender, despite a misunderstood, gruff exterior.
Plus, aren’t you a little curious to see a movie about a bunch of dogs on an island of trash? Be a fun story to tell the grandkids maybe.
What Doesn’t: Some people have complained about the film’s white-washing, and the lack of developed Japanese characters because some people will complain about anything. I guess I just don’t go into a stop-motion animated film about dog-flu infected talking dogs on an island of trash trying to avoid dog-hating mayors and robotic dog henchmen thinking “Man, this better have well-developed Japanese characters or I’m gonna hit the fucking roof!” Maybe I’m alone in this world. Maybe I should just crawl into a time-machine and go back to the far-distant time period of 5 years ago when people could just enjoy something without generating a controversy for Buzzfeed and their ever-hungry outrage minions who do not actually watch movies or TV shows, but need something to fill the time between soul-crushing Uber-runs.
What I Would Have Done Differently: Ha! I’d almost enjoy watching Wes Anderson’s face as I explain how I could’ve made his singularly weird vision better: “Yeah, maybe put in some talking parrots or some shit–why not talking fish? Huh? Mighta been good.”