It’s sort of hard to differentiate this Bottle Rocket from the subsequent feature. It looks like Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson had been working on parts of the script for a while (a handful of scenes appear verbatim in the feature) and, in a lot of ways, the short plays like an extended trailer.
As a director, Anderson has some of his distinctive framing—particularly in the two shots with conversation—but he doesn’t have a handle on how to film motion. Only at the end does he get it. The rest of the time, it’s problematic.
Owen Wilson is good—he has the character down already—but Luke has some problems. It’s like he hadn’t gotten rid of his accent yet and hadn’t decided if he was going to. Still, he’s fine. Robert Musgrave is good.
Anderson’s got his music choices down already… Bottle Rocket’s interesting, but clearly incomplete.