Moonrise Kingdom review

An oddball boy escapes Scout camp and runs off into the wilderness with the oddball girl he loves, an assorted band of oddball adults and “beige lunatics” in pursuit.

Like all films from director Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom is heavier on the style than it is the substance with a rather lightweight plot and acting that, although from a seriously impressive cast, isn’t pushed especially far and isn’t anything to be seriously impressed by. That said, the story is more solid and coherent than some of Anderson’s escapades and the flat, emotionless humour from the actors is all part of the style.

And even the quirky-factor of Anderson’s trademark style is turned up a notch. Tiny eccentric details, like giving a Scout leader a smoking habit, putting a megaphone in a mum’s hands so that she can communicate more effectively, and simply naming a character Social Services, enrich the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Fun, crazy-long tracking shots are impressive, a scene where two children discuss marriage while a Scout bounces on a trampoline is hilarious, and original storytelling techniques, most notably pulling narrator Bob Balaban right into the story’s world, are just downright good fun.

So, luckily, for those of us who are slightly bigger fans of narrative fiction than they are of design magazines, although Moonrise Kingdom oozes style it is not entirely at the expense of substance. It’s cute, it’s charming, it’s fun, it’s enjoyable, and its grace of graces is that it is refreshingly unique.

4 out of 5

30th May 2012 | Official site | On IMDb