Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom, while quirky and clever, isn’t likely going to contain any surprises for anyone who has seen a Wes Anderson film.  The story is cute and pretty heart-warming and the kid stars are sassy and far too smart for their ages. Set in the 1960s, every shot looks like a perfectly planned photograph, which could have been pulled from an album of that era.  Even before the narrator tells you what year it is, you know it’s sometime in the 60s or 70s.  Bill Murray is his usual depressed self and it’s brilliant – I never tire of it.  Edward Norton is kind of adorable as the scout troop leader. Bruce Willis plays a likeable character and fits right in with the Anderson schtick. Despite all this I have to admit being a bit disappointed. Some of the special effects could have been done better, notably a lightning strike that hits a boy. I could have also lived without the slow motion shot – it was just long enough to make you start squirming.  I guess all in all I’m giving this a mediocre review. I chuckled a couple times but I think I laughed harder in Darjeeling Express. I’ll admit that I had high expectations going in (thanks, Metacritic) and that no doubt affected my opinion. If I had never seen a Wes Anderson film before, Moonrise Kingdom would almost certainly get 5 baboons. However despite the story itself being unique, everything else was so expected: the actors, the dialogue, the oddity of the characters. And layered over all of that was the over-the-top quirkiness, which is Anderson’s trademark and frankly was just a bit too much this time around. I enjoyed it as I was watching it but it’s not a film I’d go out of my way to see again and I’m certain that if I wasn’t writing this review, I probably wouldn’t remember too much about it in a week’s time (that still may be true!).  However the beauty of the film plus the enjoyable story earns this 3 baboons.

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