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Wes Anderson takes his idiosyncrasies more than one step too far in Asteroid City, to the point of self-parody you might say, beit one that’s so unfunny I nearly walked out on the movie.

Anyone charmed by the recent Wes Anderson TikTok trend is in for a rude awakening in Asteroid City, by far the worst movie he's ever made. The pictures runs on the vapid fumes of past eccentricities but contains no ascertainable unique voice of its own.

With its 1955 setting and its sci-fi B-movie vibe Anderson's dollhouse approach could have hit a home-run, if he hadn't dialed his ideosyncrasies up to eleven in every single scene. From the off-putting two-strip Technicolor production design to the overwrought structure and a wieldy cast of not very interesting characters: Anderson goes big but delivers slim pickings.

On the surface Asteroid City does mix up the Anderson formula a bit by added new faces Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, Steve Carell and Tom Hanks (to name but a few) to his vast troupe of regulars. They don't leave a lasting impression though, because the script is too busy getting to the next scene to give the actors room to develop their roles.

To add insult to injury, the longer the film drags on, the more it becomes apparent that Anderson doesn't have a clue about the point he is trying to make with Asteroid City. This is a movie with its head so far up its own ass it can practically lick its own tonsils.

'You can't wake up if you don't fall asleep', the picture claims as its mantra at one point. If only Wes Anderson would wake up to the realisation that his quirky style is now well past its sell-by date.

release: 2023

director: Wes Anderson

starring: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Edward Norton


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