22 April 2020 | aidanmonks
Some good and some bad
The drifting, meaningless "hang-out" nature of this quirky, engaging crime/road/comedy flick is often fun and entertaining, and often far too meandering for its own good. Ultimately, what "Bottle Rocket" is about is confusion in both path and purpose, and this is clearly reflected in the spontaneity and energy of its central characters, their actions and their interactions. The film is perhaps overly reliant on its everyday dialogue and naturalistic, if not observably detached, relationships that give the film a documentary-like tone that perhaps doesn't work as an environment for typically Anderson-esque characters to inhabit. But this is Wes Anderson before Wes Anderson, which should be considered. As a debut feature, it's pretty darn good. Another potential problem is that the characters don't necessarily undergo any explicit character development over the course of the plot, but this isn't an overly serious issue as the stance can be taken that the whole point is that they don't learn and must continue to drift; on top of this, the greatest part of this otherwise average film is the fact that the characters don't actually need development, they are engaging and interesting enough to keep us hooked for a full 80 minutes with their dreams and moral callousness.