6. THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU (2004)
Wes Anderson, the genre’s resident independent oddball, has directed some of Murray’s more peculiar comedies. While Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums get most of the love, in our eyes as well as the general public’s, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou stands out for its sheer bizarreness.
In what’s basically Anderson’s loopy rendition of the old Moby Dick story, Murray plays Steve Zissou, a famous oceanographer who leads a team of colorful colleagues on a mission to kill the Jaguar Shark, which murdered Zissou’s longtime partner.
It’s not really a revenge tale, however; The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is more of an excuse for Anderson, Murray, and co-stars like Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe to indulge in oddities. Anderson assembles the pic into a series of vignettes that don’t always gel into a cohesive narrative, yet it’s tough for us not to love a movie that randomly sidetracks into an action movie featuring Filipino pirates before morphing back into a typically unusual Wes Anderson comedy. Especially when it also features a delightfully wacky Bill Murray. Wins all around.