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.