Bottle Rocket Reviews
"They're not really criminals, but everybody has to have a dream."
Bottle Rocket is my first exposure to a Wes Anderson film and it's fitting that it just so happens to be his debut. What we have with Bottle Rocket is a cool, little movie that does a lot while doing very little. It's a brisk film that focuses on a trio of friends. The movie is definitely quirky and relies heavily on the well written characters of Dignan, Anthony, and Bob. Each character is their own and each one is a breath of fresh air from the normal characters we see all the time.
Anthony is fresh out of the "looney bin" and decides to join Dignan in his quest to be a real criminal. With the help of their friend Bob, they rob a local book store and then take of on the run. They end up at a secluded little motel where Anthony falls in love with a girl named Inez. The story takes us to a final heist scene that has no glamour to it at all and is extremely funny in my opinion. I loved the way Wes Anderson used the buddy crime genre and breathed something new and creative into it. It's not typical in any sense of the word.
What I liked most about the film was the performance from Owen Wilson. His character was easily the most interesting and very funny. I'm not what you'd call an Owen Wilson lover, but when he gives a performance like the one in Bottle Rocket, it always gives me a new appreciation for him. He's definitely an underrated actor in my opinion, but that comes with how much shit he puts out.
Overall, I really enjoyed Bottle Rocket and look forward to seeing a lot more Wes Anderson films. Even though I haven't seen much from him, I see the genius everyone has claimed he is. I wouldn't go as far as to say this is a must see, but I would recommend it as I think just about anyone can have a lot of fun with it.
Good movie! While "Bottle Rocket" is certainly best categorized as comedy this might mislead those expecting the typical composition of one-liners, facetious mocking and exaggerated situational comic of mainstream Hollywood productions. Instead the humor derives from the quirky, yet lovable characters, their perspective on life and approach in dealing with the challenges of society. The quiet matter-of-fact absurdity present throughout the film will evoke a constant smile rather than burst-out-laughter. This is typical of all Wilson/Anderson collaborations (Rushmore, The Royal Tenebaums) where strong characterisation enables the viewer to develop understanding and affection for the protagonists as the story slowly unravels. In "Bottle Rocket" this is supported by strong performances, especially that of Owen Wilson, who proves his actor potential in an atypical role. If you are a fan Wes Anderson films or of any of the Wilson brothers you gotta see this movie.
Upon his release from a mental hospital following a nervous breakdown, the directionless Anthony joins his friend Dignan, who seems far less sane than the former. Dignan has hatched a hare-brained scheme for an as-yet-unspecified crime spree that somehow involves his former boss, the (supposedly) legendary Mr. Henry. With the help of their pathetic neighbor and pal Bob, Anthony and Dignan pull a job and hit the road, where Anthony finds love with motel maid Inez. When our boys finally hook up with Mr. Henry, the ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected.
Focusing on a trio of friends and their elaborate plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.
1996's Bottle Rocket stands out as the arresting debut of director Wes Anderson, along with ongoing writing partner Owen Wilson. It immediately engages its audience in the ridiculous story of Dignan (Owen Wilson) and Anthony (Luke Wilson), two friends that aren't any good at being criminals - although they aspire to be. They work alongside their friend Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) or rather trick him into helping them due to the fact that he can finance their operations.
What's so interesting about this film is the true heart that started in the script and then continued to shine through with the actors' performances. The characters were developed deeply enough for the audience to truly get a sense of who they were, what they wanted, and where they were going. Although the film tells the story of a group of wannabe thieves, it becomes clear that the reason why they are no good at pulling off these crimes is simply because of the fact that they are actually really nice guys, incapable of actually hurting anyone.
The most remarkable aspect of the film would have to be in the brilliant performances featured throughout. Owen Wilson truly shines as Dignan, the group's leader - desperate to pull off at least one fantastic heist. He is hot-tempered, controlling, and he often lets his emotions get the best of him. Although he may screw up a lot, he is always quick to apologize. At the end of the film when he is sentenced to serve time, he claims to have no hard feelings showing a real growth in his character. Another standout performance came from Luke Wilson as Dignan's best friend Anthony. It's obvious that Anthony doesn't want to be a criminal, and that he simply participates because he doesn't want to make Dignan unhappy. After he falls in love with one of the maids at a motel they stay at, he realizes he can't work with Dignan anymore. Wilson's performance was outstanding - he was really able to convey both his character's indifferent side, and also being torn between love and friendship.
Bottle Rocket was an outstanding debut achievement for director Wes Anderson, marking the beginning of a series of stunning films full of character driven scripts, great music, and aesthetically pleasing visuals.