An Unconventional Heist Movie: A Review of Bottle Rocket

There is something strangely beautiful about fireworks. At the height of their attractiveness they destroy themselves. All the sparks and the strange phosphorescent colors are for naught. This type of ephemeral beauty is incorporated into Wes Anderson’s first film Bottle Rocket.

As someone who enjoys Anderson films such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and his most recent film Moonrise Kingdom, I instantly was drawn into the strange world of Bottle Rocket. Anderson creates memorable misanthropes who fixate on achieving an often times simple goal. In Bottle Rocket the protagonist Anthony, played by Luke Wilson, wants to escape from his mundane world. He is accompanied by the eccentric Dignan played by Owen Wilson, who desperately wants to become a respected criminal.

 “Bob is gone, he stole his car.” – Dignan

As the movie progressed it became apparent that this was Anderson’s first film. He lacks the stylized shots and set expertise of his later films. However, the eccentric characters and story itself was still very attractive. The crux of the plot is how Anthony and Dignan are desperately trying to escape the pedestrian nature of their lives.

The summary of I gave of this movie is intentionally vague because the outline of the film is deceptively simple. But as one is watching the film he or she can begin to see the complexities presented in the narrative. By summarizing this film I feel as though I would be giving a slight to Anderson, who crafted such a subtle and mesmerizing work.

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