Anderson makes the most of his taut, 94-minute runtime through the use of snappy dialogue, trademark 2-D set design, and two lovable main protagonists who will dance their way right into your heart.
It's hard to imagine an independent film working its way out of limited release status in less than a month to take critics and audiences by storm in the heart of the summer blockbuster season. Crazy though it may seem, that's exactly what Wes Anderson and Moonrise Kingdom have been able to accomplish.
In his first film since The (literally) Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) leads an oddball ensemble of quirky characters in a way The Avengers could only dream of. Rest assured, there won't be any reboots here.
When a Khaki Scout named Sam Shakusky (played by Jared Gilman -- give him his Oscar now!), and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), a local New England girl, go missing in the summer of 1965, a search and rescue party is underway to bring the children home to safety days before (what history will prove as) the most devastating storm of the second half of the twentieth century rains down upon the community.
Scout Master Ward (a much welcomed Edward Norton) heads the search, who deputizes the rest of the Khaki Scouts under his command to comprise the search party and bring the AWOL Sam Shakusky back to base. But a word of warning to all those would-be Rambos: He's armed, and extremely resourceful. With his girl by his side, and the pump-action pellet rifle he lifted before blowing camp on his back, Sam's not going to be taken easily.
The love triangle that ensues between Suzy's parents (Bill Murray and Francis McDormand) and Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) serves as a nice subplot, but this story's about the kids. With his former, fellow Khaki buddies hot on their trail, Sam leads his sweetheart into the New England wilderness in hopes of escaping the world that won't let them be together.
Hank Williams's Kaw-liga is a nice touch to go along with Sam's Davy Crockett foxtail and manly survival skills. And Suzy Bishop's Sunday school shoes make her an ideal candidate for the occasional nude portrait as a change of pace to the more conventional landscapes Sam is accustomed to painting for her. Let's face it, these two square pegs fit perfectly together, and nothing or no one is going to keep them apart.
In a day in age marred by perpetual reboots, a shameless string of theatrical 3-D rereleases, and the never-ending retelling of classic works of movie art, Anderson is a much needed breath of fresh air. Further proving why you don't need a hundred million dollar budget to have a successful film on your hands. Sometimes a good story and a little originality go a long way.
In this case, Anderson makes the most of his taut, 94-minute runtime through the use of snappy dialogue, trademark 2-D set design, and two lovable main protagonists who will dance their way right into your heart. One thing's for sure: If Moonrise Kingdom isn't the best film of 2012 thus far, it's certainly the cutest.