THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
Stoner Action Adventure
Release Date: December 10, 2004
Starring: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate
Blanchett, Anjelica Huston,
Willem Dafoe, and Jeff
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Director: Wes Anderson
Anderson, Barry Mendel, and
Producer: Wes Anderson, Barry Mendel,
and Scott Rudin EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER: Rudd Simmons
Writer: Wes Anderson and Noah
Baumbach BASED ON THE NOVEL
Address Comments To:Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, and Touchstone Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Steve Zissou is an aging oceanic explorer in the mold of Jacques Cousteau. He is a leader to some misfits who seem to worship him, especially Klaus Daimler, played by Willem Defoe.
In the first scene, Steve is showing one of his documentary TV programs in Rome to a geographic society. In his boring documentary-style film, his best friend and partner gets eaten by a jaguar shark.
Steve goes on a crusade to take revenge on the jaguar shark. In the process, he meets a 32-year-old man named Ned who may or may not be his son and a reporter who idolizes him but soon finds out he is an egotistical fool. Steve, meanwhile, is going through a midlife crisis. In between smoking dope, his primary concern is trying to find out what happened to his life.
This stilted movie is shot in basic colors, reminiscent of 1960s French auteur films. The jokes often revolve around trying to make a movie about their exploits within the movie that the audience is watching. Most of the jokes fall flat, but the end of the movie has slightly more verve, especially when Zissou becomes an action character fighting with pirates.
Dumb moments are mixed with poignant moments, decency is mixed with sex scenes and stealing, and the whole movie becomes an exercise in irrelevance. Some reviewers may smoke enough dope to enjoy this film, but for those who are not zonked out of their minds, it’s going to be a very tedious waste of money.
This stilted movie is reminiscent of 1960s French auteur films. The jokes often work around trying to make a movie about their exploits within the movie that the audience is watching. Dumb moments are mixed with poignant moments, and decency is mixed with sex scenes and stealing. For those who are not zonked out of their minds, THE LIFE AQUATIC is a very tedious waste of money.