Monday, November 30, 2015
Review: Bottle Rocket (1996)
You could construct a pretty good view of the 90s using Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and Wes Anderson. They even make a nice triumvirate of Rock & Roll, Country Western, and Punk Rock. If Tarantino makes films about Rebels (Rock & Roll), Anderson makes films about Losers (Country Western). This would leave Smith, who, of course, makes films about the Rebel Loser (Punk Rock). Anderson's losers in Bottle Rocket possess potential energy with no direction and wield no discernible skills. They are "innocents" with a love for diagrams, just enough of a support system to be dangerous to bystanders, and who, maybe, have seen too many movies. They could have been played by 12 year-old actors.
Much of the film is air, a two-part joke with a large subplot sitting in the middle to facilitate a feature runtime. It would be more predictable if it ran the tropes at a constant speed, like most other films, but Bottle Rocket is variable. It gears up, pumps the brakes, then floors it. Its characters and its rarity (read: its charm) save most of it, but let's face it: this shit be jagged, bro. These are humble beginnings.