A.V. Club’s New Cult Canon: Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket

In an on-going series that takes a look at films from the past twenty-five years that have found their audiences in non-traditional routes, the A.V. Club‘s Scott Tobias has taken a look at Wes’ first film, Bottle Rocket.

We did it, though, didn’t we?” —Owen Wilson as Dignan, Bottle Rocket

Back when Fantastic Mr. Fox debuted a few months ago, the following thought occurred to me: “Wes Anderson is forever doomed to make Wes Anderson movies.” Here’s a director who did all he could to step outside his comfort zone, adapting someone else’s work for the first time—in this case, that of Roald Dahl, an author with his own singularity—and using stop-motion animation, a painstaking collaborative process that seems like it should suppress his auteurist instincts. Alas, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a Wes Anderson movie from frame one, because he found a way to square his sensibility with Dahl’s (or, as detractors might put it, “shoehorn it in”) and wrangle a team of animators into bringing his homemade, obsessively detailed Rankin-Bass universe to life. There are two ways to look at it: Anderson is either to be praised for his consistency of vision, or damned for painting himself into a stifling creative corner. This may explain why the maker of such gentle, eccentric, lovingly particular comedies remains one of the more polarizing directors in the business.

Read the full article at the A.V. Club, complete with clips from the film.

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