Fans of Jacques Cousteau are either going to be very amused or very insulted by Wes Anderson’s colorful but inconsequential film about a deep-sea explorer (Bill Murray) who mounts an expedition to find the mysterious jaguar shark that killed his best friend. Along for the ride is the explorer’s son (Owen Wilson); the absent father is a familiar theme for fans of the director and so is the quirky, somewhat peaceful sense of humor. There are so many wonderful details to observe (the David Bowie covers!) and the cast is very game (especially Murray)… but in the end the movie is nevertheless overlong and feels unfocused.
2004-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Wes Anderson. Screenplay: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach. Cast: Bill Murray (Steve Zissou), Owen Wilson (Ned Plimpton), Cate Blanchett (Jane Winslett-Richardson), Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum… Michael Gambon.
Trivia: Co-produced by Anderson. Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman were allegedly considered for the part of Jane.