Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to home. (IMDb)
As colourful and creatively animated as always (see the unique multi-panel training montage, trippy climactic trip to the spirit world) but with heightened humour (“Even Master Chicken’s going in, and he’s a chicken!”) and emotion (the two-dad arc is a touching one: “Dads!”) this time around, often taking place within the same wonderful moment (see the two-dad fighting combo; chi circle: “You taught us to be who we were meant to be. A dad” “A friend” Granny panda: “A lethal fighting machine”).
The Madagascar animals join a struggling European circus to get back to New York, but find themselves being pursued by a psychotic animal control officer. (IMDb)
More entertaining than ever: The increased “fish out of water” animals vs. humans antics make for loads of hilarious action set pieces (see the insane truck then plane escape from Monte Carlo), the goofy one-off bits are taken to another level (see DuBois’ rousing French song; Rock’s gut-busting Afro-circus bit), and the new circus setting provides two infectious feel-good musical numbers. The plot, meanwhile, continually takes wonderfully unexpected turns (see the poignant return to the zoo).
Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog. (IMDb)
Awe-inspiring animation, as expected, with an amazing attention to detail (petals on noses, fur blowing in the wind), breathtaking landscapes (see the journey montages), a variety of unique shots (see the shadowy discussion in the bottle cave), creative storytelling devices (see the split-screens), and fun flourishes (see the sushi-making). A welcome surprise is the engaging hard-boiled political drama added to Anderson’s typically quirky comedy (the gossiping goofy alpha dog pack is great).
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor. (IMDb)
Smoothly moves without leaving a character behind or strings untied from a subtly spun protagonist set-up (the quiet Driver is ever intriguing) with budding romance to a bloody crime/revenge drama spiked with shocking violence. Add to that an equally cohesive aesthetic of a moody city setting slickly portrayed (see the crossfade transitions, scrumptious slow motion shots under a gorgeous synth soundtrack) and unique scene edits (see the final confrontation) and the film packs quite the punch.
The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity. (IMDb)
Cranston’s passionate Joe Brody is a solid protagonist in the first act here but as the focus shifts to his son the film loses most of its emotional edge; Taylor-Johnson is wooden and Olson isn’t given much to work with. The monster/disaster plot is engaging, and it looks great (Godzilla’s dissonant piano-backed reveal is awesome) but without any interesting characters amongst the pure plot-movers (the military, the scientists), the film struggles to be more than just your typical monster movie.