Oh, how I love Bottle Rocket. I feel like it’s sort of fallen out of style to be a big Wes Anderson fan, and I don’t really know why but I definitely do not care. He’s still one of my all-time favorite directors, and Bottle Rocket is so great.
I think the biggest thing that stands out when I think about Bottle Rocket is how sweet it is. I first saw it a loooong time ago, when I was fairly young, and looking back on it, Bottle Rocket is really more than okay for a younger person. There’s no real sex, violence, or language (just bits of it and allusions to it) and the plot is pretty simple.The relationships also feel very natural and genuine; Dignan (Owen Wilson) is the leader of the group, but mostly because Bob (Robert Musgrave) is a pushover and Anthony (Luke Wilson) lets Dignan be the leader because he knows it’s more important to him. Anthony is close enough to Dignan to never really stand up for Bob, but is also coming into his own more where he cares less about what Dignan is doing. Anthony’s relationship with Inez (Lumi Cavazos) also feels very natural; their relationship is brought on by pure attraction (since they speak different languages), but it stays a relationship because Anthony is genuinely interested in Inez and she genuinely needs a confidant. Also, Anthony reminds me a lot of Chris, so that makes me like him even more.
Bottle Rocket is just such a great introduction to Wes Anderson, not just because it’s his first but because it’s a lot simpler than his other movies but is still signature Wes Anderson. Everything in this movie feels very organized when it needs to be and chaotic when it needs to be. It’s all just laid out perfectly, until something fucks it up, which is very relatable. Bottle Rocket is not the best movie ever and it’s not even Wes Anderson’s best movie, but GOD is it gooooood.
I saw the end of this movie on Comedy Central when I was, in middle school maybe, and that was the first time I ever heard of Wes Anderson. The part that I starting watching from, for the first time, was the robbery at the end. I remember thinking to myself, “How does this exist?” (Something I never thought twice about when watching a Ron Howard movie). Through the help of IMDB I quickly found out what the movie was and started watching all the Wes Anderson movies that existed at the time.
If you do not know who Wes Anderson is then start here, I think. Also, the Alamo Drafthouse shows this movie at the hotel it was filmed to raise money for it to stay open. I think Elizabeth and I are going to try to go next time or if nothing else try to stay a night.