Bottle Rocket

In 1994, an aspiring director from Texas named, Wes Anderson and two brothers, Owen & Luke Wilson made a short film called, “Bottle Rocket.” Story is about three quirky pals plan a heist. Two Years Later, the trio expand the short into a full-length feature film with James L. Brooks (The Simpsons, Broadcast News, As Good as It Gets) giving them full support courtesy of his production company, Gracie Films.

Bottle Rocket was officially released in 1996. (same year Swingers came out) It received positive reviews from critics. However, it didn’t make enough money at the box office due to its limit release. Meaning, a lack movie theaters didn’t open nationwide. Only making half a million. Not enough to pay off $8 million. Regardless of as a flop, Bottle Rocket launched the careers of Wes, Owen & Luke in the film industry. The film became a cult classic and added to The Criterion Collection as spine number 450. Martin Scorsese praised Bottle Rocket as one of his favorite films of the 90s.

Owen signed on to reprise his role as Mobius in Loki’s second season. Wes’ next film is “Asteroid City.” James will produce a film adaptation of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” There’s a possibility Luke could reunite with Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde 3.”

Today’s review contains no SPOLERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Keep in mind, this is a short review. It’s not a complex psychological thriller or a three-hour plus epic. Just a low-stakes film.

Smart & Dumb

Smart: The Wilson Brothers and the late James Caan all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.

Fun Fact: Bill Murray was originally chosen to play Mr. Henry. He dropped out as he was busy filming “Larger Than Life,” “Kingpin” & “Space Jam.” Bill eventually became a frequent collaborator of Wes since “Rushmore.”

Wes Anderson did a good job directing his first film. He also co-wrote the script with Owen.

James L. Brooks served as an executive producer.

Cinematography never succumbs to technical difficulties.

Humor has some legit laughs with Dignan & Anthony bantering over their priorities.

The film is shot in Texas. Wes, Owen & Luke are Texans. I’m also a Texan myself.

Chemistry between Dignan & Anthony serves as the main highlight.

Owen first utters out his catchphrase, “Wow.” Ten Years Later, his second catchphrase is Ka-Chow from “Cars.”

Dumb: An early romance occurred. In real life, it’ll take a week or two for a pair to get to know one other before a relationship is fully established.

A “we are done” cliche between two characters happened. In almost every rom-com or buddy film, you know a pair will put aside their differences and resume their partnership.

The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRIGHT!

Bottle Rocket is a strong start as a gateway for Wes Anderson and The Owen Brothers’ careers. If you haven’t seen Wes’ works, Bottle Rocket is serves as an introduction. I highly recommend it. Don’t forget his other gems like Rushmore, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” & “Moonrise Kingdom.” They’re also listed in The Criterion Collection.

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