Maciej’s review published on Letterboxd:
Calling this movie "style over substance" would be a disservice. Because if you get 10 out of 10 for style, there's still plenty of room for substance.
What I'm trying to say here is, the plot is an excuse to show off the *unbelievable* stop-motion animation and some of the most amazing production design I've ever seen in my life (seriously, every frame is a painting. With the epicness "Blade Runner 2049"). But so what? It's still told with truly one of a kind sentimentality of Wes Anderson. There are all the bits of a classic hero's journey, there's friendship, family (not even that dysfunctional this time), ancient legends, spy thriller, political commentary (that rings just too close for comfort, not only for USA but for Poland too) and then everything is soaked in the eponymous love of dogs. And comedy, of course. Lots of it. The movie is truly hilarious, both in visuals and in the typical for Anderson dissonance between who is speaking, what and how. And a lampshade hanging on every corner - by God, this movie has everything!
Everything is set in such fantastic setting that at the same time you can't take it seriously and albo buy it with all your heart. When you watch an artificial setting build of plot conveniences that sucks you in completely - this is true art. Surprisingly, more than previous Wes Anderson movies (which is a genre by itself now, by the way), it reminded me the most of Bong Joon-ho's films ("Snowpiercer" and "Okja", and isn't it a strange coincidence that Tilda Swindon is in these as well?) by way of Wallace and Gromit ("A Close Shave" mostly).
Oh, and also - is this cultural appropriation? Or is it racism? For me it's just an aesthethic choice, because I felt nothing but respect from Anderson for the Japanese throughout the movie, from the use of language, extremely creative translation and visuals to the amazing drum-based music by Alexandre Desplat.
Wes Anderson is truly unpredictable. After "Grand Budapest Hotel" surprised me with being his approach to a spy period movie I wanted to see how he'd handle a sci-fi setting. Now that I've seen it I can rest easy and just wait for his next movie. Whatever it will be. I'll buy it.