Isle of Dogs and Pacific Rim Dual Review

One might imagine that there is no connection between the two movies. It’s more I have the same complaints with both. I like Wes Anderson and Pacific Rim. I like Wes Anderson’s quirky, familiar style and his earthy characters. Pacific Rim is THE western robot story, a guide on HOW to do it, the weight, characters and music, all perfect. Fight me.

Isle of Dogs just doesn’t compare to the Fantastic Mr. Fox. The character development just isn’t there. The voice acting and animation is choice, of course, but everything else is lacking. The main character’s arc is just lackluster in comparison and it just seems he eased up on qualities that were there almost from the beginning. While Atari and his uncle Kobayashi are great, filled out and deep, no one else seems to match them. Seriously, Atari is straight alpha. Lastly, his films tend to have a crescendo of action for the climax. It felt lacklustre compared to his other works. While the detailed backgrounds and design carry the movie, and the animation is fluid as all hell, the things I really love out of Wes Anderson Films, gravitas, quirkiness and character arcs, just aren’t there like they should be.

Pacific Rim Uprising is offensive. Where Isle of Dogs merely fails at hitting near Wes Anderson’s best three films (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel) PRU doesn’t even pretend to be the beaten red-headed stepchild of Pacific Rim. Gone is the weight, the gravitas, the dependence on perfect characters for the roles that needed to be there to make the story work. PRU’s characters are plastic cut outs and practically cookie cutter from committees. PRU’s action scenes lack all the weight and beauty of its predecessor. I still remember Cherno Alpha, Crimson Typhon, Eureka Striker and Gypsy danger. I remember ONE mecha from PRU, Obsidian Fury, the villain Jaeger which are probably the only scenes worth watching. John Boyega can’t act his way out of a wet paper bag and while returning characters and Clint Eastwood’s son give it their all, they’re drowned by the millstones the other acting performances give. Those kids deserved to die, and I’m sorry only one did. Seriously. The climax didn’t feel like a climax. The villain was OK but had none of the mystery that the aliens had. None of the super-colourful side characters like Hannibal Chau are around to keep B-plots (of which there are, like, none) going.

Ultimately, the movie did start strong, and the Gypsy Avenger VS. Obsidian Fury fights actually felt good, nothing else did. Isle of Dogs is watchable, but Pacific Rim Uprising is a damn waste of money and I hope it fails. I am going to die someday. I wasted an amount of it equal PRU’s runtime. I should have left the theatre. Like the critic from Ratatouille, I shouldn’t have to finish anything (media-wise) that I don’t like. And just so you know, the Iron Chamber of Memory served much the same purpose for me, thematically, as that dish. Instead of watching those movies, put the money into books from Superversive press. Unlike John Boyega’s acting career, they’ll survive the apocalypse and physical copies can be used without electricity.

Here’s a youtube video from Mother’s Basement, by his holiness, the Anime Pope, who explains PRU’s terribleness pretty good.