In Wes Anderson's THE LIFE AQUATIC, a group of oceanic explorers who call themselves Team Zissou embark on a journey to hunt down the "jaguar shark" that ate one of their crew members (Seymour Cassel). Determined to avenge the death of his dear friend, team leader Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is melancholic about the journey he's about to make. Meanwhile, financial troubles and nostalgia for his past make Zissou behave like a reckless playboy, an aging softie, and a past-his-prime tyrant. Surrounding Zissou are a hodgepodge of eccentrics--a pregnant journalist doing a magazine feature (Cate Blanchett), an airline pilot from Kentucky who claims he is Zissou's son (Owen Wilson), an emotionally needy European (Willem Dafoe), an acoustic guitarist who sings David Bowie songs in Portuguese (Seu Jorge), Zissou's brilliant wife (Anjelica Houston), and her ex-husband who is Zissou's seafaring nemesis (Jeff Goldblum). Clad in baby-blue polyester uniforms, Addidas sneakers, and red stocking caps, Team Zissou is a sight to see. And as their deep-sea adventure takes them into dangerous waters where they are attacked by pirates and dazzled by CGI fish, the group finds magic both in their bonds to each other and in the colorful world around them.
In keeping with Anderson's unique brand of escapist humor, these caricatured characters are nothing short of fascinating. While their lives are extraordinary, they act bored, dwelling on banalities like hurt feelings, jealousy, and loneliness. The more absurd their stories are, the more believable their quirky personalities become. With plenty of hilarious moments offsetting the film's tongue-in-cheek sentimentalism, THE LIFE AQUATIC is sure to please seasoned Anderson fans and make new ones of the uninitiated.