Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 21st February 1996
Box Office Worldwide: $407.5 thousand
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Production compaines: Gracie Films, Columbia Pictures Corporation
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 10
IMDB: 7.1 / 10
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Luke Wilson as Anthony Adams, Owen Wilson as Dignan, Lumi Cavazos as Inez, Andrew Wilson as Future Man, Robert Musgrave as Bob Mapplethorpe, Haley Miller as Bernice, James Caan as Mr. Henry, Ned Dowd as Dr. Nichols, Shea Fowler as Grace, Brian Tenenbaum as H. Clay Murchison, Jenni Tooley as Stacy Sinclair, Temple Nash as Temple
In this hilarious first feature from writer/director Wes Anderson and screenwriter Owen Wilson, a trio of young men with questionable work ethics try in vain to become hardened criminals. Anthony (Owen's brother Luke Wilson) has just "escaped" from a voluntary mental hospital with the help of old pal Dignan (Owen), a neo-manic-depressive who's mapped out his life with felt-tip pen in a 75-year plan. Bob (Bob Musgrave) is the group's timid getaway driver whose main qualification is that he owns a car.
After a practice robbery on Anthony's Dallas house, the plans for the first big score, a strip center bookstore, are put into action. With literally hundreds of dollars, the men then find their way to a middle-of-nowhere motel, planning to return for the job that will launch them to the Big Time: robbing a cold storage center.
Filmed by Texans in Texas, Bottle Rocket is a surprisingly funny look at childish obsessions and "growing up" as a twentysomething. Wilson's dialogue is maddeningly comical and oddly realistic--we've all had a friend like Dignan who doesn't quite have all his screws in. The performances by the principal actors are dead-on, too. Throw in a supporting role by James Caan (his best since Honeymoon in Vegas) and a bizarre final heist, and you've got yourself a pretty good film.
The only time the movie is derailed is during an ill-thought-out love sequence with a motel housekeeper (Lumi Cavazos - Like Water From Chocolate). It doesn't really seem to belong in this picture, but at least it's somewhat entertaining. The picture's selection of music is a very unconventional one, too, and while it's somewhat refreshing in its difference, it can also be distracting.
Details aside, I recommend Bottle Rocket to anyone who enjoyed last year's The Brothers McMullen. And while not the unequivocal success the latter film was, Bottle Rocket is still a phenomenal ride that manages to be consistently funny, without once resorting to someone being struck in the groin.