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USA 1996
Directed by
Wes Anderson
92 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Bottle Rocket

Those who like their comedy off the beat will be rewarded by this cleverly-written,skilfully-realizedlow-key blackish comedy about three hopeless would-be crooks. Owen C. Wilson, who co-wrote the script with Anderson, is priceless as the chronically inept but indefatigably optimistic Dignan, Wilson's brother, Luke, plays Dignan's obliging friend, Anthony, yet another Wilson brother, Andrew, plays the bullying sports-jock brother to the third member of the trio, Bob (Robert Musgrave). James Caan has a terrific cameo as Mr Henry, Dignan's sometime employer and hero  whilst Lumi Cavazos is engagingly cute as Anthony's love object, Inez.

Compared to Anderson’s later distinctive stylistic mannerisms Bottle Rocket is a relatively conventional caper comedy although in hindsight one can see Anderson’s core concerns with misfit characters who are ill-disposed to join the adult world, the character of Dignan with his 75 year plan for self-development and bright yellow jumpsuit, a precursor to Anderson’s obsessive eccentric, Max Fischer, in his next film Rushmore.




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