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Asteroid City Is The Most Wes Anderson Wes Anderson Movie Ever Made

Asteroid City is the most Wes Anderson Wes Anderson movie ever made. It doesn’t always work, but it sure it a visually spectacular film.

Asteroid City movie review

People who love Wes Anderson movies will find Asteroid City to be a dream. Those that don’t enjoy them will find it to be a nightmare. Why? Because this is the most Wes Anderson Wes Anderson movie ever made. That isn’t a bad thing for those that are fans of the visionary director.

This story takes place in a small town called Asteroid City, where a meteor once fell from the sky. It is a town where tourists stop to visit, but it doesn’t have too much to see besides the crater and rock that was left behind. In this movie it is the site of an award ceremony weekend for young brilliant minds, where one of them will receive scholarship money.

The Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention is disrupted when something world changing occurs, causing those who are trapped there to start to question their reality. This is also known to be a play, since we see the playwright, Edward Norton, writing it at the start, and the host, Bryan Cranston, explaining it all to us, the viewers. 

Asteroid City is very clearly a Wes Anderson film. Even if you had no idea going in, there is no question about it right from the very first scene. He has a clear style when it comes to how he tells a story. The visuals and color palate are often similar and the films itself are quirky and eccentric.

Asteroid City movie review

Per usual, the cast is stacked to the brim with talented people who take the story to a whole new level. Or what there is of a story anyways. Not only do we get many of Anderson’s favorites showing up like Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum, but there are several new faces as well.

Scarlett Johansson, Maya Hawke, Tom Hanks, and Steve Carrell are among the standouts of the new to a Wes Anderson film actors, which should be no surprise as they all extremely talented and seasoned. 

Johansson and Schwartzman play the two lead adults in the movie, and have the most interesting of relationships. But that doesn’t mean that the other characters are pushed to the side. In true Wes Anderson fashion there is a lot to say throughout, while it seems as if nothing is really happening. Jake Ryan has worked with Wes Anderson many times before. This time he plays the lead child and Schwartzman’s son. As an attendee of the convention he is very smart, although he is standoffish to the other children who are trapped there with him. 

Without this strong of a performance from him, Asteroid City would not have worked as well as it does. However, Ryan delivers what is needed of him, making him an extremely likable character that you just cannot help but root for. 

The costumes and set design in this film are incredible. It feels as if we stepped back in time thanks to the retro look, and it is very apparent the film takes place in the 1950’s. It is all done in classic Wes Anderson aesthetic. There are moments of humor mixed in, but the main sensation that is delivered is confusion and suspense. Asteroid City almost takes on the feeling of a Twilight Zone episode, as viewers wait for the shoe to drop and the conclusion to become clear. However, it never really does.

Asteroid City movie review

Overall Thoughts

The thing about this movie though, is that while there is a lot going on, there is simultatiously not much going on. It is easy to see why some audiences might not enjoy the film, or will leave it feeling confused. The performances are amazing, the visuals are stunning, but the story never fully pays off… at least not really.

Still, it is very clearly a Wes Anderson movie through and through. It is almost as if Wes Anderson decided he was going to do this film in a Wes Anderson style — it is that far out. Those who enjoy Wes Anderson movies are sure to at least be entertained. While those who do not, will likely hate this one and should probably skip it. If for nothing else, see it for Jeff Goldblum’s character.

Rating: 4 out of 5

NEXT: Elemental Delivers An Emotional, Beautiful, & Touching Story

Asteroid City movie poster

About Asteroid City

Asteroid City takes place in a fictional American desert town circa 1955. The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

Asteroid City comes to select theaters on June 16th.