Moonrise Kingdom finally hit the theaters in my area so I know I am behind in the blogging world for posting a review. It is the latest from Wes Anderson whose previous films can best be described as unique. I say that because his movies had a feel and formula totally different from any other director. That said people who see his movies love or hate them. There are some who fall in the middle but for the most part people are at polar ends. Someone who sees a lot a movies will most likely appreciate Wes Anderson’s style where as a casual movie-goer might find themselves thinking, “What did I just watch?” I heard this from a lot of people as we left the theater this time around. That said, Moonrise Kingdom definitely follows the Wes Anderson formula of unique drama, comedy, and atmosphere.
Moonrise Kingdom is about a couple of barely teenage lovers, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), who believe the only way they be together is by escaping into the wilderness away from their drab everyday lives. When the two go missing local police’s Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), Sam’s Khaki Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), and Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Francis McDormand) must work together, while butting heads, to bring the modern day Romeo and Juliet back to safety before a might storm strikes the small New England town. Here is the trailer:
Starting off, if you found yourself not liking any of Wes Anderson’s previous films like The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, and Rushmore then you most likely might not be thrilled with Moonrise Kingdom. I say might because who knows, maybe you would like this one since you like Norton, Willis, or McDormand who have not been in a Wes Anderson directed film previously. The material is dry and a lot of the comedy is situational as oppose to spoken. Do not get me wrong there were some funny lines in this movie but a lot of what made this movie funny were the awkward situations, which is classic Wes Anderson in my opinion.
The acting was perfect. There was not a single person in this movie that could have easily been replaced. I look forward to seeing what is next for Gilman and Hayward because they absolutely nailed their roles just way Anderson envisioned the characters being. Bill Murray again proves himself to be a true actor, not just a witty comedic actor. Bruce Willis played a different kind of cop for a change! Not complaining about his other roles at all but he never draws a gun here which is a cool change for him. But the best performance to me was from Norton. He embodied the commanding troop leader turned paranoid, naïve, regular guy and delivered his lines with the right amount of emotion.
Overall, Moonrise Kingdom is a fun dram-rom-com that any Wes Anderson fan will enjoy for its situational humor and adolescent view of true love. I give it an 8/10 and it is probably my favorite film from Anderson thus far. And Bill Murray and Bruce Willis are two of my favorite actors so it was cool to final see them in a movie together.