Bottle Rocket (1996)

DailyView: Day 297, Movie 420

Scanning through Starz this morning, I came across a film called Bottle Rocket, which featured Owen and Luke Wilson. I was not aware of this movie before, but I discovered that this was the feature film directorial debut of Wes Anderson, who has had plenty of quirky and eccentric films since including Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

This started as a short that also starred the Wilson brothers. Anderson expanded the short into this feature length film.

From Rotten Tomatoes: “In Wes Anderson’s first feature film, Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital, only to find his wacky friend Dignan (Owen Wilson) determined to begin an outrageous crime spree. After recruiting their neighbor, Bob (Robert Musgrave), the team embarks on a road trip in search of Dignan’s previous boss, Mr. Henry (James Caan). But the more they learn, the more they realize that they do not know the first thing about crime.”

Bottle Rocket is an odd film with the typically strange group of characters that come above the story. That can work extremely well to not much at all. For me, Bottle Rocket falls somewhere in the middle. I did not love this but it was watchable.

The biggest issue I had was probably the character of Dignan. I have not been a big fan of those types of loud, blowhard types in films and this one is no exception. I am not sure why someone would want to spend any time with him. Since that is the case, why do I want to spend time with him.

Admittedly, Anthony was not a regular guy wither. Out of a mental hospital and falling in love with perhaps the first woman he saw in Inez (Lumi Cavazos), Anthony was just a little quieter than Dignan. He was certainly not more balanced.

The film is only around 90 minutes, but it did feel long. There is a section in the middle where Anthony and Dignan split up and Anthony goes to set up a new life for himself. I am unsure why that was included because 10 minutes later, he was right back involved, as if he had never left. There was no purpose for that part of the story. It simply might be an attempt to extend the film from the short.

In the end, this was okay. I do like the Wilsons and James Caan stole every scene he was in. I just wanted a little more than what was here and some of what was here was not relevant.

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