MOONRISE KINGDOM Tuesday 05 June, 2012

Wes Anderson is back. Thank god.

Moonrise Kingdom is sweet and odd just like most Wes Anderson films. Many people have said that it’s his best since The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s not. What those people are forgetting is that The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is the best film Anderson has made.

It’s hard to watch Moonrise Kingdom and not wonder if Wes Anderson watched Richard Ayoade’s Submarine and decided to show him how it’s really done. In much the same way it was hard to watch Submarine and not feel like you were watching a Wes Anderson fan copy his style.

Moonrise Kingdom is a tale of young love. It’s a tale of learning how relationships work. What it isn’t is emotionally engaging. For some reason it feels like the audience are constantly kept outside of the action. We are purely spectators here. It’s fortunate, then, that I love everything about Anderson’s style because that is what is left here.

The big hitters in the cast are superb but underused as the real stars of this film are the two young leads.

For all that is wonderful about this film I can’t help feeling that this is not in any way a leap forward for the director. Everything here is familar territory and the two lead characters could easily be Rushmore’s Max and Tenenbaums’ Margot.

If you’re an Anderson fan you’ll love it but feel like you wanted more and if you’re new to his work you’ll enjoy a sweet and quirkily made story of young love.

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