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 (played by Johnny Depp) heads to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, bringing along his Samoan lawyer, Dr. Gonzo (played by 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 (played by 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 Gonzo reside. An all-star cast chimes in with wonderfully offbeat bit parts, including Harry Dean Stanton, Gilliam regular Katherine Helmond, Flea, Cameron Diaz, Ellen Barkin, Christina Ricci, Gary Busey, Lyle Lovett, and others.
This movie was great, in all aspects. There’s a lot of funny parts mixed with a lot of serious parts. I guess you can say this movie is sort of like “Pulp Fiction” mixed with “Up in Smoke”. The storyline is close to how Pulp Fiction’s was. The only difference is “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas” is based entirely around psychedelic drugs. Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo do just about every type of drug, in this movie, such as cocaine, ether, acid, pot, mescaline, and many more. The special effects they show during drug trips was really great.
I thought all actors, in this movie, did a great job on their performance. Both Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro played their parts as best as they could. Johnny Depp’s parts were more funnier than most of Benicio Del Toro’s scenes. As for Cameron Diaz and Christina Ricci, they only did a guest appearance. Cameron Diaz, you only see in an elevator scene and Christina Ricci, you see in the hotel suite and again crossing the road.
Another good thing about this movie was the music they added. They used a lot of the popular music from the 70’s. I’ve seen a lot of movies that try to base their movies in the 60’s or 70’s and play updated music, which I think kills the movie.
While looking for the trailer to this movie, the one I added on here showed a lot of scenes, which wasn’t in the version I saw. I’m guessing I saw an edited version or something.
If you haven’t seen this movie, I would suggest watching it. As I mentioned above, if you didn’t like Pulp Fiction’s storyline layout or if you don’t get into movies dealing with drugs, you won’t like it. If you do, you’ll love it.
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