20th Century Fox
by Alex Markerson | Thu., Oct. 4, 2007 1:17 PM
20th Century Fox
Review in a Hurry: Director Wes Anderson's predictably arch road movie has a few laughs and his signature stylings, but it's saddled with a one-track plot and dry performances that never really go anywhere, even when the story literally goes off the rails.
The Bigger Picture: Your ticket to The Darjeeling Limited, sad to say, isn't going to get you very far. Anderson's latest project—cowritten by Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman—is about three estranged brothers reuniting for a spiritual journey across India aboard the titular train.
Limited is a key word, as the exotic location—so far from the hallowed Rushmore academy—mostly makes plain that Anderson's tics have cemented into structures and styles that are unappealingly dull no matter where you take them. The twee deadpan, the self-conscious camera moves, the elliptical characterizations that hint at much but reveal nothing of significance, the surreal fixations (this time self-medication and kleptomania), all are transplanted intact but lifeless from earlier, better Anderson films.
The only real new touch is Adrien Brody, whose middle-brother role doesn't have the dubious flair of Schwartzman's metaphorically wounded writer or Owen Wilson's literally wounded—well, Owen Wilson is Owen Wilson, no matter how many bandages you wrap his head in.
These characters have such inertia it's no wonder they need a train to get them moving, but by the time The Darjeeling Limited runs out of steam, their appeal has long since run out of gas.
The 180—a Second Opinion: It's better than The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, despite being less interesting.