DVD REVIEW: FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Starring Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Terry Gilliam’s Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is a surrealist drug trip to the dark side of the desert, with Johnny Depp channelling Hunter S Thompson’s gonzoid, fucked-up journalist to the hilt.
Benicio Del Toro famously put on a lot of weight to play the bloated and borderline insane lawyer Dr Gonzo, as feverish a fictional alter-ego as ever spewed forth from Thompson’s mind.
Fear & Loathing details the highly extrapolated semi-autobiographical adventures of Thompson as he crosses the desert in a Cadillac filled to the brim with intoxicants both legal and otherwise.
Bad reviews of the movie abound: Thompson basically invented gonzo journalism, whilst indulging in all manner of hallucinogens, and as such it’s certainly not going to be to everyone’s taste. Gilliam – the mastermind behind the cut out animations in Monty Python’s TV series and movies – indulges the characters’ excitable highs, drug paranoias, and the succession of real and imagined oddball characters they meet on their journey.
It’s a journey which is largely the point unto itself: there’s no redemption to be found here, no great moral to the story, just a wondrously creative interpretation of a landmark of American counter-culture literature.
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