A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"Bottle Rocket" was shot in and around Austin, Texas, and like "Slacker," another Austin movie, it's in love with the whimsy, coincidences and conversation of everyday life. The plot is about learning to pull stickups, but crime seems almost like an afterthought in many of the scenes, which play more like a documentary on some old friends sitting around trying to think about something to do.
The movie opens with a character named Anthony (Luke Wilson) planning his escape from a mental asylum. Many of the details have been planned by his friend Dignan (Owen C. Wilson), who signals him furtively from a hiding place on the grounds and who seems loonier than Anthony. The escape works, but it's not much of an achievement, since the asylum is a minimum-security institution that anyone can more or less walk away from.
The logic behind the unnecessary escape soon repeats itself, when Dignan and Anthony collaborate on a house burglary that turns out, shall we say, to be a great deal less risky than it first appears. They're in training for the big time; they want to be crooks, but don't have many of the necessary skills, and their personalities seem all wrong. For Dignan, crime seems like less of a career than a convenient way to control Anthony.
They bring in a friend, Bob (Robert Musgrave). He'll be the getaway driver for their first real big-time heist. They choose a bookstore as their target, and the scene is handled nicely; the employees and customers are too lowkey to really mind very much.