Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Hunter S. Thompson Double-Feature

Synopsis: World’s worst journalist and dangerously insane-village idiot drinking buddy freak out for two hours.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “When a writing assignment lands journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and sidekick Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) in Las Vegas, they decide to make it the ultimate business trip. But before long, business is forgotten and trip has become the key word.”

What Did I Learn?: “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.” 2) “One of the things you learn from years of dealing with drug people, is that you can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug. Especially when it's waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye.” 3) “Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. A normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker signal that says you are about to turn right. This is to let him know you're pulling off for a proper place to talk. It will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180 degree turn at speed, but you will be ready for it. Brace for the g's, and fast heel-toe work.”

You Might Like This Movie If: You enjoy a good documentary.

Really?: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a Terry Gilliam film, with some pretty cool special effects during the drug scenes (which comprise pretty much the entire movie), so it isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. That said, I have to wonder if Raoul Duke/Hunter S. Thompson ever once had to pay for his mistakes in the form of a savage beating, a night in jail, a hangover, brain damage, etc...?

Rating: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a much better film than Where the Buffalo Roam. While both feature obnoxious and unlikeable characters, Fear and Loathing is at least a highly imaginative romp, with fine performances, nifty special effects and a great soundtrack. Bizarre, but quite enjoyable. 7.5/10 stars.

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