It was in that context that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou came out in December 2004. Oozing ambition out of every pore and self-consciousness with every move, the movie remains the most divisive entry in the Anderson canon. Unscientific measures like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes rate it as his worst, a judgment with which this Anderson fan concurs. He was approaching the pinnacle of his cultural influence—the “Wes wannabe” was fast becoming the decade’s version of the Tarantino imitator—and had made a movie that felt more like an exhibition. It was the work of an artist who had become the curator of his own style. Seven years later, it remains Exhibit A in the case against Anderson—and, paradoxically, a reminder of his value to film culture.
— An apt article on Wes Anderson’s work, from Reverse Shot. I do think that Anderson’s work - and its legacy - has certainly suffered from the fact that so many films have aped Anderson’s style. Seeing Aquatic in theaters was a nightmare, however. Every “joke” was just funny for weirdness’ sake, and there was nothing to care about.