on 18 December 2010
Las vegas has long been believed to be the ultimate destination in the states: gambling, amusements, neon. The list is endless, but that soon changed when two goofballs arrived in a red chevey impala. this is Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo, Duke is a journalist sent to vegas to cover the mint 400 but he also has a suitcase full of drugs he and his attorney Gonzo plan to make it the ultimate Business trip. however thanks to the drugs, their plan to find the american dream begins to unravel. thanks to terry gilliam this film looks into what happens when you go too far in illegal substances, when we first meet the duo it's all a party for them but near the end when duke finishes his article the true power of the drug is revealed, this film in a sence shows us what is really behind the glamour and excitement in las vegas.
The two chosen actors: Johnney Depp and Benicio Del Toro capture these characters well, you woulden't believe it was depp in this film and toro as gonzo in his violent rages definatley would keep a sane man away, the preperation for the roles the two actors took was increadible, toro gained 45 LBS for his role and depp stayed with Hunter S Thompson himself, to study his character and mannerisms. the way gilliam captures the book is intense, you would not believe this is based on true events, finally I would say although you have two obvious criminals you kind of think cor what an adventure Thompsons life must have been.
on 25 July 2006
Never underestimate the Spanish Inquisition. They may not have been terribly successful in Monty Python, that was expected, but outside the show, they achieved a lot. Terry Jones and Michael Palin followed their own paths, the latter seemingly walked down EVERY path in the world in his documentaries for the BBC, but it was Terry Gilliam who arguably went on to become the most creative member of the Python team. Primarily responsible for the animations in the show, Gilliam went behind the camera again after the end of Python, this time focusing on the big screen. Gilliam injected his unique creativity into all his films, mostly to great acclaim, "Time Bandits", "Brazil", and "Twelve Monkeys" all lauded by critics and fans. However, its his 1998 portrayal of journalist Hunter S Thompson's masterpiece "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" that should be acknowledged as the pinnacle of Gilliam's work.
Every aspect of this film is stunning. The acting, the camera work, the soundtrack, the imagination, all truly staggering. The story centres around Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), who has been summoned to cover a motorcycle race in Vegas. Accompanied by his attorney Dr Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), the drug-riddled expedition quickly escalates into a chaotic and perilous episode for the constantly intoxicated pair. The story descends into sheer psychedelic lunacy, as our heroes battle against the neon lights of Vegas, the conservative normality of the sober, and the watchful eyes of hotel staff. Johnny Depp produces a performance of vast quality, his portrayal of Thompson is probably highly accurate, considering he spent some time with Thompson before the making of the film, even sleeping in his house. Del Toro is fantastic as his accomplice, and a number of Hollywood regulars make fleeting appearances, including Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci, and Tobey Maguire (even Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers holds an unrecognisable part, as does Thompson). The art direction is absolutely stunning, the whole film really captures 1970s America, and the scenes of psychedelic drug highs are jaw dropping, there are plenty of them, and with a soundtrack including Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and Jefferson Airplane, the film gives an absorbing insight into the many states of mind shaped by their vast array of drugs.
FALILV is hilarious, uneasy, fascinating, sobering, and ultimately exhilarating ride. Gilliam has blatantly spent a hell of thought, time, and effort on this majestic depiction of Thompson's literary classic, his work on the meticulous details of this narcotic fuelled trip has evidently produced a free-flowing and engrossing picture of the book. Its almost an unwritten rule of cinema that a big screen recreation of literature is never as good the original piece, FALILV may not be better than Thompson's writings, however it is just as brilliant as the book. In my opinion, buy the book and film, and savour both classics.
on 15 February 2008
I'm so glad I gave this film a try because it was absolutely hilarious in places. It's also as you would expect really dark and amoral as well.
The attorney character (del Toro) was my favourite, the funniest drug addict ever in film. It's had bad reviews but maybe time has been kind as it seems well written, with an exuberent devil may care attitude that works. Ihere are great performances and depp and del toro make a great double act.
on 27 November 2003
I first watched this film, ripped, twisted - out of my mind at a friend's house in SW London...
I laughed and laughed, 'til I thought I would black out... This is a film that provokes extreme reaction. Luv it or hate it - there's no middle ground... It's a film you cannot explain to ANYONE that has not seen it already... They'll think you're mad, tainted with the insanity and lust for life that infected the Duke and Dr' Gonzo on their shotgun, headlong flight into debauchery...
Be careful - if you're weak you may find yourself wondering about mescaline, ether and all manner of crazy things... "what could happen?... Hmmmm". Do not try this at home!!!!
Seriously tho'... this film needs a number of screenings to get into the head of Thompson and the good Doctor... The dialogue is rapid-fire and at first incomprehensible... Give it time and you will reap the rewards that will have you espuousing the wisdom of Thompson's narrative, to strangers, who will stare at you like dog's that have just been shown a card-trick...
Watch the film... read the book... watch the film again... in that order...
Thing's will mAKE SENSE NOW... AND ALL THE THING'S YOU ONCE HELD DEAR WILL FADE TO GREY AND LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN...
For Sale: One Vincent Black Shadow... never ridden, only dropped once... Only $1000
If you're thinking of watching this wonderfull film, and you would be mad not to, then consider reading the book first. I didn't and I now realise it was a mistake. Don't get me wrong, the film is very funny and entertaining in it's own right, but if you have read some of Thompsons prose it makes the experience all so much better.
I won't bore you with the story but will say that your companions on this trip to Las Vegas, played brilliantly by Depp and Del Torro are both frightening and endearing, and will stay in the memory for some time.
I loved it and watch out for a very young Toby Maguire (Spiderman)
I'd normally warn you about the Bats but you'll see them soon enough!!
on 4 September 2005
... reality its self is too twisted." Hunter S. Thompson, in my view, is one of America's best authors and died the only way he possibly could, suicide followed by having his ashes scattered across his ranch by cannon. This film is about two men in Vegas "in search of the American dream". The opening line is one of those that almost sums up the movie "We were some where near Barstow on the edge of the dessert when the drugs began to take hold." You can watch this film sober, drunk or stoned, it doesn't matter you will still feel twisted after the experience. Its got some great and memorable lines and I could spent the rest of this review listing them but I'm just going to finish by saying this is a cult classic, you might love it as I do and so do many people I know or you might think its just drug addled drivel. Either way its one not to be missed. Watch it and make your own decision!
on 28 February 2008
This is a classic masterpiece, superb humour, a gorgeous soundtrack inercut with brilliant technical directing. Hunter S Thompson's novel is a worlwind of brilliance and this film is an excellent adaptation.
Enjoyable from being to end, this is the kind of thing you watch over and over loving it more each time.
on 2 March 2006
This was soo hilarious , Johnny Depp was Brilliant,as always, and so was Benicio Del Toro.They make such a great pair with some laugh out loud moments.I would recommend this film as its really funny , cleverly done and just great.