One of my local independents, Cameo, has started a Wes Anderson retrospective in preparation for the release of his latest film, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ in a couple of weeks. As I’d only seen ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ from his output, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to enter into his weird and wonderful world, starting with his debut, ‘Bottle Rocket’
Focusing on a trio of friends and their elaborate plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.
The first edition in my Wes Anderson retrospective is his debut film, ‘Bottle Rocket’, a strange film about a couple of wannabe criminals (played by brothers Luke and Owen Wilson) who set off on a 75 year plan with the aim of impressing the mysterious crime boss ‘Mr Henry’ (James Caan). The film really isn’t particularly good, with a meandering plot that doesn’t really go anywhere, and Anderson’s unique style clearly hasn’t been honed at this stage. That’s not to say there isn’t anything to admire about the film – it shows off Anderson’s ability to create quirky characters and situations, and his knack for picking a good soundtrack.
The performances are solid enough, and some individual scenes are really entertaining (the library robbery and the plan preparation), but the overall output doesn’t really amount to anything. Don’t get me wrong, films about very little can be great, but they can also be pretty boring and uninteresting, and unfortunately ‘Bottle Rocket’ falls into the latter category. It’s an interesting film for anyone wanting to enter into the world of Wes Anderson, but it goes down as one of his weakest efforts in my book. Next week I’ll check out ‘Rushmore’, Anderson’s sophomore effort about a love triangle set at a high school, starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and James Caan