HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou A Life On The Ocean Wave
Year: 2004
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, Bud Cort, Seu Jorge, Robyn Cohen, Waris Ahluwalia, Neils Koizumi, Pawel Wdowczak, Matthew Gray Gubler, Seymour Cassel
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: It is the world premiere of the new documentary from Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), an accomplished deep sea diver and ocean expert who has made his celebrity with such films as he travels the world on his ship, the Belafonte. This is part one, cut short because of a tragedy: Zissou was diving with his longest serving companion Esteban (Seymour Cassel) when they were attacked by a huge, hitherto unknown species of fish which is Christened the "jaguar shark". Sadly, Esteban was eaten, but Zissou survived to make an announcement at the premiere, saying that part two of the documentary will feature him and his international crew hunting down the jaguar shark and killing it. When asked for the motive for this action against a possibly endangered species, the answer is given: "revenge".

Wes Anderson, who scripted The Life Aquatic with Noah Baumbach, made his name with films that are best described by that dreaded word, "quirky", and this effort was no exception. Nevertheless there was a distinctive humanity to his tales of dysfunctional families and damaged souls which raised him to a level above his contemporaries with his fans, but here it was clear that perhaps we had seen all Anderson had to offer, despite its exotic locations and gleaming camerawork. For those who couldn't see the appeal of Rushmore, or even those who thought The Royal Tenenbaums had been a step too far, this film held few surprises.

And to be fair it holds few surprises for those who had enjoyed those films as well, as was apparent when the characters were introduced through the opening twenty minutes. The most important of these to the storyline was Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), the son of a recently deceased woman who Zissou had had an affair with, so the awkward father/son relationship with echoes of Rushmore developed when the possibility of Ned being Zissou's long lost son emerged. Zissou is married to the chilly Eleanor (Anjelica Huston), an unhappy, childless marriage, so finds for the first time the prospect of fatherhood actually appeals to him.

Zissou is dependent on Eleanor's wealthy family for the funding for his trips, but the elderly Belafonte is already in need of repair. Wanting to spend his next mission in the pursuit of a fish he plans to kill proves an unpopular move, and pregnant English journalist Jane (Cate Blanchett) tags along for the ride, supposedly to do a puff piece on the explorer, but with more probing questions in mind. Meanwhile, Zissou is bonding with Ned and recruits him to the team, much to the jealousy of Klaus (Willem Dafoe), his second in command. As you can see, Anderson is not short of top acting talent offering their services, but you have to wonder if The Life Aquatic does them any justice.

Beyond acting, yes, quirky, and putting on accents and deadpan expressions when the weird stuff starts to happen, that is. Zissou's great rival is the better equipped Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum), and when the search for the jaguar shark commences (during the commotion Zissou managed to place a tracking device on it to home in on) he makes for Hennessey's futuristic Sea Lab to raid it for supplies. And so the not as hilarious as you would want antics continue, seeing Ned and Zissou in a dispute over the love of Jane and bringing in action sequences when the Belafonte is attacked by pirates and one of the crew (Bud Cort) is kidnapped by them. Of course, it all ends with Zissou coming to terms with himself as man instead of a second rate Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and a would-be misty eyed final scene. But with every scene before it approached in the same straight faced "is this supposed to be funny or not?" manner, The Life Aquatic falls very flat, for all too many not encouraging the second viewing it needs to at least partly fall into place. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5283 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: