Directed by Wes Anderson, starring Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, Bud Cort and Seu Jorge.

Steve Zissou, underwater documentary maker, captain of the Belafonte, and a man drowning in a midlife crisis. His longtime cameraman has been eaten by the mythical Jaguar Shark, he hasn't had a hit film in nine years and his relationship with his wife Eleanor (Huston) is on the rocks. So Steve decides to turn things around - or end them all - by going on a revenge mission to find the Jaguar Shark. Joining him and his (very) motley crew aboard the Belafonte are British journalist Jane Winslett-Richardson (Blanchett) and Ned (Wilson), a young airline pilot who says he's Steve's long-lost son. But male bonding will soon give way to male rivalry as both father and son fall for Jane.

Eagerly-awaited but strangely flat, 'The Life Aquatic...' is where the good ship Wes Anderson takes in plenty of water and leaves many fans sad by the quayside. It's his most ambitious film to date - its visual style and scale making 'The Royal Tenenbaums' look like a home movie - but it's also his most emotionally uninvolving. By thinking too big and having too many under-developed characters, Anderson and Noah Baumbach's script lurches between drama and comedy, never managing to blend them both together and leaving you unattached to those aboard the Belafonte. The cast is stellar, but many of the performances feel routine, with Murray's auto captain deadpan completely upstaged by Willem Dafoe as ship's engineer Klaus. By the close you feel that, like student comedy, this is a film that rates itself far too highly and is far too convinced of its own importance to care about those watching it.

If you weren't a fan of 'Rushmore' or 'The Royal Tenenbaums' don't bother; if you were, chances are you'll still end up feeling a little green around the gills.

Harry Guerin