Sunday, January 16, 2005

Life Aquatic Doesn't Sink But Doesn't Swim

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is from Writer/Director Wes Anderson who's brought you outher such films as Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums. It stars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, Bud Cort, Seu Jorge, Robyn Cohen, and Seymour Cassel.

IMDB Plot Outline:
Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou and his crew--Team Zissou--set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly non-existant Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou's partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. They are joined on their voyage by a young airline co-pilot who may or may not be Zissou's son, a beautiful journalist assigned to write a profile of Zissou, and Zissou's estranged wife and co-producer, Eleanor. They face overwhelming complications including pirates, kidnapping, and bankruptcy.
As with Wes Anderson's previous movies, this one is incredibly quirky and very reminescent, stylistically, of The Royal Tenenbaums. I wouldn't quite call it a downer or depressing but it's that same sort of middle-ground between happy and sad. Very tragic at times and very hopeful. Also very funny. You'll note, however, that I mention funny after the other attributes.

One small thing I want to mention. The movie uses CGI (computer generated images) for the various sealife you see, fish, horsefish, sharks, etc. I rather liked it. It looked surreal and fake but it fit very well. Made the movie itself seem surreal at those times, which I believe was the intended effect.

I don't think I really liked or disliked this movie. It falls into that rare "neutral zone" in my movie preferences. Humorous but also dark. Hopeful but very tragic. A meandering plot that barely resembles a plot at all. A goal without direction. All things that detracted from a truly enjoyable experience yet didn't make it "bad" or "awful." The best I can say is that if you liked The Royal Tenenbaums you *might* like this movie. Otherwise it's a pot shot.

ALAN'S MOVIE REVIEW: Rental-Worthy or Cable-Worthy.