Moonrise Kingdom is another quirky, witty and dynamic film from acclaimed director Wes Anderson. It is full of surprises, terrifically shot and well acted. The brilliant acting all stems from an excellent supporting cast consisting of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray. And the leads roles are decently acted by the two young stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. All the great acting makes the story feel believable, fun, and serious, all at once.
While not following a conventional plot, Moonrise Kingdom still manages to captivate viewers, which would be a difficult thing to do, but is something we’ve come to expect from Wes Anderson [Wes has also directed the quirky comedies Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)]. With the exception of the repetitive “cheating parents” archetype that Wes Anderson seems so fond of, the first hour of Moonrise Kingdom is brilliant, funny and deep. This begins to fade though as the movie progresses.
Eventually, near the middle of the film, Moonrise starts to fall victim to a poison of its own crafting. The movie certainly soars when it focuses on character development, but after an elongated character-growth-dedicated middle, things start to unravel. By the time Moonrise Kingdom is in its final half-hour, it has lost the jubilance and excitement that filled the beginning. Its ending, unlike the entire previous portion of the movie, is both predictable and rushed.
But overall, Moonrise does bring home the pudding. Usually when a film is told from the perspective of children it cannot handle the scope of the adult world, thus avoids it in order to eliminate moments that are potentially awkward and insincere. Moonrise Kingdom completely ignores this, and triumphs where other films have failed: by crafting a unique story that, while isn’t conventional, can still appeal to all audiences and age groups. It is here, in its wry, heartfelt core that Moonrise Kingdom really succeeds.
I give Moonrise Kingdom 84 high-end binoculars out of 100 tedious-to-acquire Boy Scout badges
- Lead Role(s): 18/20
- Supporting Cast: 9/10
Total = 27/30
- Pacing/Flow: 15/20
- Cinematography: 10/10
Total = 24/30
- Dialogue: 13/15
- Story: 12/15
Total = 25/30
- Special Effects/Sharpness: 4/5
- Soundtrack: 3/5
Total = 7/10
Final = 84%