Bottle Rocket (1996)

(On DVD, June 2003) Low-key film about a pair of very small-time criminals trying to decide whether they should break into the crime business or stay outside of it. Brothers Owen and Paul Wilson star in this first Wes Anderson film (Owen co-wrote the screenplay) and if you’ve seen his latter Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, you can already expect the sort of awkward comedy and sympathetic losers favoured by Anderson. It’s not a spectacular film nor even a particularly interesting one, but it eventually works its way up to something adequate. There’s a notable lull midway through as Inez is brought in the picture. Both Wilson brothers turn in good performances, though fans of both actors will find it weird that their usual hair styles are here inverted. Anderson and Wilson completists will find plenty to like in Bottle Rocket, though it remains to be seen if others will have the patience to sit through what can be a series of lengthy moments. The bare-bones DVD edition is decidedly lacking in special features; a commentary would have been worthwhile.

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