The latest from Wes Anderson plays like a wan, withdrawn redo of his previous film, The Royal Tenenbaums: It concerns an egocentric, curmudgeonly father figure married to a character played by Anjelica Huston, and swaps one Silverado star in love with Huston (Danny Glover) for another (Jeff Goldblum). In Tenenbaums, though, Gene Hackman fought through the wry cleverness of the screenplay to bring warmth and depth and humor to the character of Royal. Bill Murray, as the titular ocean explorer who's run out of adventures, is no Hackman -- and here, he's barely a man at all; he frumps and frowns his way through a journey that's entirely interior despite its exquisite exteriors. What's most troubling about Anderson is how lifeless his movies are getting. The more technically proficient he gets as a filmmaker, the more emotionally barren his movies become, till at last The Life Aquatic drowns in a sea of self-indulgent touches that delight the filmmaker but distance the filmgoer who wants to love him but can't, not anymore.
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
Producer: Barry Mendel, Scott Rudin and Rudd Simmons
Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Bud Cort, Seu Jorge, Seymour Cassel, Noah Taylor, Robyn Cohen, Waris Ahluwalia, Niccolò Senni and Pawel Wdowczak