A slightly belated Moonrise Kingdom review

Moonrise Kingdom

 Run time 94 minutes Cert 12A

I’m always dubious about films that have five-star reviews all over the poster because, if we’re honest, they usually reach new levels… of pretentiousness.  The tree of life springs instantly to mind.  Moonrise Kingdom is different however; it is a film that actually deserves the 4 and 5 star reviews because it’s a really good film. I know I was surprised  too.

Moonrise Kingdom is the new film by Wes Anderson (The Fantastic Mr Fox) in which two troubled 12 year olds: Sam (Jarred Gillman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), run away together and all the residents of the small island they live on try to find them led by Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis).

The first scene is so sweet you would have to have a heart of stone not to be charmed by it. It really sets the tone for the entire film because even through its dark moments, which are few and far between it is still very touching.

The way the film is shot is very bizarre and isn’t really like any other film out at the moment, because it blends long unbroken takes with very fast editing. I would usually complain about the speed of the editing but in this it really goes with the absurd tone the film adopts.

The characters are all well-developed even the ones you don’t see much of you know who they are at least. But the star performances are Bruce Willis who creates a very sympathetic character in Captain Sharp who is not very bright and a bit sad but has a good heart and wants to do the right thing and Edward Norton is very good as the very focussed but likeable scoutmaster his character fits ever so well into the absurd world that Anderson has created.

As this is a Wes Anderson film, Bill Murray turns up and he’s very good in the role of Suzy’s sad father. The entire cast gives very convincing performances and I don’t think there’s a bad performance in it. All the child actors are really good, which, lets face it, is a seldom-said thing.

Take my word for it; Moonrise Kingdom is worth the ticket price.  Its two lead actors are fantastic and I really enjoyed it so much I can’t bring myself to spoil it. The only proviso I would give is that even though it’s only a 12A. I can’t recommend taking young children to see it.  The dark moments are quite dark and may upset some children, for example, a boy gets stabbed by lefty scissors and a dog is shot with an arrow.  No you don’t see it explicitly but it would still upset children, this is a touching film for grown ups who like films.

Rating 4.5/5

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