Written by / 6/25/2012 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

MOONRISE KINGDOM

title: MOONRISE KINGDOM year: 2012 cast: Bruce Willis, Bill Murray rating: *
There's an Orson Welles quote: "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." Well you can overdose... or go overboard... on just about anything, including quirkiness. And Wes Anderson piles on his patented absurd creativity but only as far as the symmetrically flamboyant images go: from a neat looking lighthouse to a tree-house dangling high up on a thin trunk, it's all about the visuals.

Set in the gorgeous New England outdoors, the story (using the word plot would be a stretch) centers on two young lovers. One, the boy, is a disassociated orphan in a camp troop and the girl lives across the water in a nice house with stone cold parents. The kids are probably the worst child actors ever – or could it be Anderson’s intention to make them so robotic? Perhaps their lack of energy brings out the gorgeous scenery around them. Either way it’s difficult to feel for their Romeo and Juliet plight, traversing the land with cop Bruce Willis, scout master Ed Norton and his troop on their trail. Both are supposedly discovering true love but we never really understand their attraction in the first place... Though it’d take real actors and a decent script for that sort of character arc.

The pallid boy wears glasses and represents the hipster movement in rudimentary form, bent doing things his own way. And even after being captured and taken to the main camp run by Harvey Keitel, then helped to escape and being reunited during a formidable lightning storm, artsy director Wes Anderson provides the usual aesthetic pleasures his fans expect (and accept) yet there’s nothing more going on: style trumps story at every turn. Even Bill Murray lacks soul and purpose. Now that’s a feat in itself.
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