Tuesday, April 20, 2010
581 - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas review
Doesn't tripping acid look just awful? At least that's what I thought during Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," an oft-loved but perhaps little celebrated piece of drug paraphernalia that makes the act of chemical insanity look, well, insane, and saps the fun out with it. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro play Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney, who ingest a suitcase full of drugs and wash it down with a case of beer during a stay in the titular city. I may stand corrected, but this is perhaps the only studio picture out there filmed entirely from the perspective of a narcotic haze, the dial turned to 11 for every second of the
There's a reasonable talent that goes into producing these lengthy sequences of hyper-intoxication, but much like the many actual drug abusers I've met myself, they're under the false impression that their delirium is vastly more fascinating than it actually is. What seems interesting to them, such as endless ruminations about narcotic impacts and streams of aesthetic non sequiturs, quickly get boring to those outside of the club. It's a lot more fun to feel the heat of drink than to observe its effect on someone else, something that translates well to screen, as the pair's adventures have that grinding loop effect of spending an evening with drunks without taking a sip. The partiers think they're doing something really original and fun, but only because they're in the bubble.
The film's most interesting flourish is a cameo by Gary Busey, perhaps one of the few major Hollywood actors who could identify quite well with the film's look and tone without the lubrication of a controlled substance.
2 out of 5
Posted by James at 4/20/2010 11:15:00 AM