Oh God, how does one go about reviewing such a film as Fear & Loathing? With great precision & brutal honesty, I suppose....I almost wished that I had done some of those experimental drugs such as the ones our leads characters were snarfing before reviewing this film so that I could relate. I wonder if that would've altered my perception in the very least.
Sadly, Fear & Loathing was not received well during it's initial theatrical run but that's not exactly surprising either. Critics tend to review what they like & rate films based upon on their own personal feelings. I'm glad that I'm not a paid reviewer as wouldn't want to discredit any work of art based upon my own personal feelings. Gilliam really out did himself on this one & this film demands repeated viewings.
Having never read any of Hunter Thompson's work, I may not be a great judge if the movie was to true to his writings. In lew of this, the work may have been even better had Alex Cox completed the project. We'll never know although I tend to think audiences somehow gravitated to this film moreso than any critic to the best of my knowledge. In fact, I think Fear & Loathing developed somewhat of a cult following in just a short amount of time rather than falling prey to cinematic oblivion which seems to be the fate of negative or poor critical reviews. In all honesty, I'm glad the film did so well if only in the vhs or dvd digital world.
There really isn't a tremendous amount of plot to cover here in a review but I can say the imagery & visual aspect of the film is more than enough to make up for the confusing storyline if we can call it that. Johnny & Benicio are wickedly hilarious in their roles as junkies on a cross road trip to hell. We, as viewers, aren't really sure whether to root for them or just sit back & watch their downfall. It's almost like a derailment or trainwreck of some kind only nothing can be taken seriously here. It's too cartoonish to be considered tragic & that's being cordial. Instead, we subject ourselves to lunacy & laughter in abundance.
**** out of **** "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is a misunderstood piece of work. It is an adaptation of Hunter S. Thomson's literary masterpiece of the same name. "Fear and Loathing" was a hell of a hard book to adapt, as I imagine. The story was told aimlessly and instead relied on its sense of humor and bizarre imagery to get its point across. Some will say, "If it had a point", but I say, "It has one whether you like it or not". … more
Simply put, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of the weirdest films that I've ever seen in any genre and any medium (and keep in mind that I've seen weird stuff that most of you wouldn't ever think to see). Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro are perfect as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo (respectively), and particularly with Depp, his acting as a drug-guzzling journalist was a riot to see, especially all the surreal-as-hell things he sees (such as a bunch of lizards in a bar). … more
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS is a whirlwind of a movie, a wacky, drug-laden story backed by a fist-pumping rock & roll soundtrack featuring everything from Wayne Newton and Tom Jones to Combustible Edison and Dead Kennedys. Journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) heads to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, bringing along his Samoan lawyer, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), in this furious adaptation of the book by Hunter S. Thompson. It is 1971, and Duke and Gonzo are on their way to Sin City with a frightened hitchhiker (a nearly unrecognizable Tobey Maguire) and a trunkful of drugs, which they ingest nonstop. Depp is terrific as Duke, Thompson's alter ego, and Del Toro is a riot as the crazy lawyer. To perfect his Thompsonian performance, Depp spent a lot of time with the good doctor, and it paid off in a film that captures the frenetic pace of the counterculture novel. Director Terry Gilliam, a master of complex, bizarre visual imagery, has a field day interpreting the drug-hazed world in which Duke and ...