New York Magazine, December 20, 2004
What did the idiosyncratic director do with his first full-size budget? He put Bill Murray into a father-figure role, and gave him a speargun.
Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou looks, at first, as though it’s the inevitable final entry in what you might call Anderson’s Great-Search-for-a-Father-Figure Trilogy. It’s of a piece with previous Anderson movies like Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), in that it features a selfish bastard (Bill Murray in the first; Gene Hackman in the second) who, in crumbling middle age, decides it’s important to impart some of his wisdom, or at least his hard-won cynical savvy, to a young man who views him as a father figure, if not an actual father. What’s with the dad thing, Wes?