• FAMILIAR WATERS

    Wes Anderson takes you to a bubbly comic adventure in The Life Aquatic ... but haven't we been here before?
      The key to understanding director Wes Anderson's sense of humor comes from his feature debut, Bottle Rocket. In that deadpan 1996 caper, Dignan (Owen Wilson) stealthily springs his friend Anthony (brother Luke Wilson) from a mental health clinic--where Anthony had voluntarily checked in for "exhaustion." Afterwards, the friends hatch energetically plotted criminal schemes--interrupted by periodic, persistent battles with depression, lethargy and boredom. Reconsidering most of the main characters in Anderson's subsequent features--1998's deservedly beloved Rushmore and 2001's less-deservedly-so The Royal Tenenbaums--they all follow this same behavioral pattern: exciting plan, burst of energy, fit of depression, repeat.
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