Bottle Rocket (1996)

Wes Anderson start’s out, with the Wilson brothers.

After charismatic but naïve Dignan (Owen Wilson) persuades his pals Bob (Robert Musgrave) and Anthony (Luke Wilson) to rob a bookstore, the trio takes it on the lam. While holing up in a border-town motel, they bungle their way into a big heist orchestrated by a glib gangster (James Caan).

So to start it off I didn’t know what to think of this film at first. I love all Wes Anderson films, and I always put The Royal Tenenbaums as one of my favorite films, and I just wanted to see where Anderson got his start.

This film is basically a heist film, but not really because if you see Wes Anderson films you’ll see why, and how anti-serious his films can get. I felt like the film’s comedy sometimes bordered on sarcastic and dark but overall made some very serious situations funny.

Bottle Rocket has got a lot of Anderson’s charms and wit with the usual corny soundtrack, and very quirky scenes but nothing really connects. I didn’t feel myself connected to a lot of these characters and their situations. I liked Owen Wilson’s character but the central theme and message that lie within all of Anderson’s others doesn’t really come out here.

The film is incredibly talky throughout. In most films I like it when the characters talk and interact with one another, as I feel it sort of humanizes them. However, Bottle Rocket doesn’t really have much thought about it’s dialogue. A lot of stuff is given to Owen Wilson and it’s used pretty well, but these conversations aren’t very witty or important at all, and I didn’t find myself interested in them talking as much.

Bottle Rocket gets saved from it’s cast however. Owen Wilson does a great job at playing this kind-of slacker guy who doesn’t want to always stay home and do nothing, but go out and do stuff, only that stuff happens to robbing places. He creates a character that is not very likable but soon starts to win you over, as he continues to show more character in a lot his desperate situations. Luke Wilson does a very exceptional job at playing the recently crazy brother as well.

Consensus: Bottle Rocket isn’t very likable but features an impressive debut from Director Wes Anderson and the Wilson brothers.



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