Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades. Runtime: 118 mins Release Date: 22 May 1998
I think the people who reviewed this film are a bit warped for thinking of it as anything less than a masterpiece. This film comes from the glorious days of Johnny Depp taking obscure roles in films and totally immersing himself in the character. Benecio Del Toro's performance was second to none, and I cannot for the life of me comprehend why someone would think this to be the "worst movie ever". God save us that we actually have to think a little when we sit in those awful theatre seats. Heaven forbid we're required to use our imagination a little bit and not have it handed <more>
to us in the form of Hollywood mindless pap. The film, del toro, Depp, and of course, Gilliam are all brilliant. I pity the fools who gave this movie a negative review and fail miserably in articulating their reasoning.
"We can't stop here. This is bat country!" (by MovieAddict2016)
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is a twisted, outlandish venture into the mind of a warped junkie, a reporter who is traveling to Nevada in order to cover a Hells Angels motorcycle race, along with his Samoan attorney Dr. Gonzo Benicio Del Toro, who gained forty pounds for his role . "We were somewhere around Barstow when the drugs began to take hold," is the line that opens the movie in an expeditious manner, as a red convertible roars from right to left, in the direction of Las Vegas. The vehicle's trunk is packed with an abundance of deadly drugs. "We had two <more>
bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers. Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, two dozen amyls."The narrator of the story is Raoul Duke played by Johnny Depp , a balding, stumbling shell of a man, constantly smoking or inhaling drugs, his body overloaded with deadly substances. He is in a permanent daze throughout the entire film, constantly consuming drugs every time the camera pans onto him. He is also the reporter, the main character of the film, and he is in such a daze that after the motorcycle race is over, he's not even sure who has won. So sitting cramped in his increasingly trashed hotel apartment, he begins clacking away mumbo-jumbo on his typewriter, desperately trying to make sense of the seemingly frenzied world surrounding him.The year is 1971, the beginning of the after-effects of the frivolous sixties. Raoul still seems to think that he is living in the past decade. He explains that his carefree ways were out of place for such an area as Las Vegas, and in one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie, he visits a conference detailing the dangers of substance abuse, and inhales cocaine throughout the seminar led by the late Michael Jeter .The movie is based on the semi-autobiographical memoirs of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who traveled to Las Vegas in 1971 with an overweight "Samoan lawyer" named Oscar Zeta Acosta. According to Thompson's novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," originally published at the end of the decade, they broke many laws and were essentially high on various dangerous substances the entire time. In his novel, Thompson used the character Raoul Duke as a relation to his own past, and the pair's psychedelic weekend as a metaphor for the Lost America. After the sixties, during the Vietnam War, Americans were deeply confused, and turned to many dangerous substances for answers. Some critics claim that "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" glamorizes drugs. If anything, it demonizes them sometimes quite literally , and the constant drug use is merely present to account for the duo's wacky behavior.That's not to say that "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is a harmless film. Under the wrong circumstances, it could be misunderstood, which is why it was nearly slapped with an X-rating by the MPAA, and -- along with the book -- caused outrage when it was released in 1998, alongside the utter disaster "Godzilla."Depp is the reason the film's narration succeeds as well as it does -- a lesser actor might come across as annoying. Depp seems to be channeling the physical freedom of Steve Martin and the slurred speech patterns of Thompson himself -- although he was given ample time to pick up on Thompson's mannerisms, since they spent much time together prior to shooting and throughout the filming process.But what is essentially so fascinating about "Fear and Loathing" is its blazing style and blatant uniqueness. Brought to the screen by Terry Gilliam "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Brazil" , one can only expect the movie to be strange, but it is severely distorted to the point of insanity. What is even more intriguing is Gilliam's use of his camera, cinematography and backgrounds -- the camera essentially takes on the role of a third person, as it is constantly moving, positioned at awkward angles against harsh, dizzying backdrops, wallpapers and carpets. The overall effect of the movie is the equivalent of getting high -- only this probably isn't as dangerous. Probably.In some ways, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is an utter mess of a movie -- pointless, sick, but yet it is also occasionally hilarious, and I found myself very entertained. I am not usually a fan of these sorts of movies, which only helps account for my extreme surprise in finding that I not only enjoyed "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," but found it to be an important art house movie -- bizarre, mystifying, strange, bewildering. It is as if Fellini directed a Cheech and Chong movie. It is an experience unlike any other, and although I can completely understand the negative reviews it received upon its release years ago, I find myself somewhere in between the haters and the die-hard cult fans. The film was released on a Criterion DVD last year; a sign that despite its infamous background it actually has a fairly strong legion of fans. In some ways the movie is as confused and wandering as its narrator. It's somewhat pointless, but incidentally, I think that is the point.
An excellent literary adaptation - and sooo much more... (by hansler)
This movie polarizes the audience like few before: while of course, there's people who like it and people who don't like it for any movie, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' either excites or almost repulses it's critics, and I dare to say that most of the negative responses are based on ignorance, or even fear, of introducing psychedelic experiences into mainstream culture.Personally, i regard 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' as one of my absolute favorites, definitely in my top 10, and possibly even top 3. One of the many outstanding characteristics, besides a <more>
flawless performance from its main actors, excellent direction, and maybe the greatest achievement, one of the few literary adaptations that don't have you leave the cinema with disappointment, is the visual interpretation of the influence of LSD and other psychedelica. Though it has been tried many times, in 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' it has been done in a way that in my opinion deserves an Academy Award like 'Best Visual Interpretation', were there one like that btw, number 2 in my psychedelic charts is, interestingly, a scene from 'The Simpsons', episode 809, 'El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer The Mysterious Voyage of Homer ', where Homer eats super-spicy chili made from Guatemalan chili peppers grown by mental patients- that causing him an incredibly accuratel realized 'trip' .Well, I guess up until now you, the reader, can guess that I am one of those that loved the movie, and think it to be a mile stone in cinematographic history, along with 'Apocalypse Now', 'Pulp Fiction' or 'The Matrix'.
I was reviewing "Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas" on IMDb.com when the drugs began to take hold (by alex-law321)
When you start watching this movie, you'll decide if you like it or not. But if you don't want to wait, I'll tell you. This movie is so trippy, so gross, so insane, so bizarre, and so friggin' crazy! Now with that said, it's also brilliant, funny, surreal, dark, entertaining etc. The story goes like this; a Dr. Journalism, Raoul Duke Johnny Depp , and his wolf man attorney, Dr. Gonzo Benicio Del Toro , are sent to Las Vegas to cover a Mint 400 motorcycle race but end up abandoning that in search of the American Dream. The two characters are out of their minds on drugs <more>
the entire time which is where the surreal factor comes into play. The film is based the famous novel by Hunter S. Thompson, which was based on real life events he experienced. I'm not kidding when I say that five minutes into this movie and you'll feel that someone drugged your drink or something. This is more than just a movie, it's an experience, and an experience like no other. If you haven't read the book or don't know what your getting yourself into, then you're gonna have one hell of a ride. Johnny Depp of course nails the performance of the character that the book created. What director, Terry Gilliam, did is take the book and match the images that we thought of while reading it, perfectly. Throughout the film, watching the two characters wander witlessly around Las Vegas tripping on acid, I felt like I was part of the experience. Also, Depp's performance is so good, that I started to forget that he wasn't really Hunter S. Thompson. The characters are both psychotic but in different ways. Raoul Duke has one foot in reality and another foot in a pit of madness, Gonzo, however, is off his rocker. He's just a ticking atom bomb ready to go off, I'd be scared to stay in the same room as him. But what keeps this movie going strong is the narration by Depp. Some of it's recited from the book but other times it's whatever's on his mind. Without the narration, the movie would be just one wacky thing after another. Overall, watching this movie is like being hit by a car, sucked into a tornado, spat out into a trampoline factory, raped by a wild tiger, eaten by Godzilla, thrown off the face of the Earth, and plummeting right down on the TV. Any negative reviews you may have heard about this movie make no sense. They love the book while hate the film for being so crazy and shapeless oh, you mean exactly like the book . This is a perfect adaptation of the book. So great performances, surreal scenery, flowing narration, and a clever cameo by Thompson himself. When I first saw this movie, I liked it just fine. I've seen a few more times and every time I see it, it gets better. Now it's gotten to the point where I think it's one of the best films ever made. So if you're a Johnny Depp fan, or a Terry Gilliam fan, or a Hunter S. Thompson fan, or just in the mood for something different and I mean REALLY different, definitely check it out.
A drug-fuelled romp through Las Vegas (by david-sarkies)
I am actually not surprised that Terry Gilliam directed this movie, particularly since when I read the book the last thing that I thought could have been done was to turn it into a movie. Hunter S. Thompson generally does not write books that could easily be translated into movies, in particular this one, however if there is one person that can pull it off, it is Terry Gilliam.This movie is about two guys, one of them a journalist, the other, well, I have absolutely no idea who the other guy is, though he keeps on referring to himself at his Attorney, who go on a drug fuelled binge to Las <more>
Vegas. The subtitle of the book is 'an exploration into the dark side of the American Dream' however that is not their intention when they go there. It seems that Raoul is supposed to cover a sporting event, and then a DA's Conference on drugs, but instead they spend a bulk of their time travelling around Las Vegas in a drug induced haze.Much of the film is narrated by Raoul, namely the thoughts that are racing through his head as he wonders around the city. He scams a couple of hotels, runs up huge bills, and then disappears. By the end of the movie you get the impression that they simply trashed everything that they could conceivably trash in Las Vegas, and though it is suggested that they were rushed out of town, it does not seem that that actually happened.My favourite part of the film was when they get into the hotel and forced into the bar to wait for their room to be made up. Raoul then starts freaking out, as he sees the carpet begin to swirm, and the crowd in the bar turn into monstrous creatures, and has to be carried out by his attorney. Later it is his attorney's turn to freak out and have to be carried back into his room. This, as Hunter refers, is known as 'The Fear'. I guess people who have never done drugs would not understand what he means by the fear and I certainly didn't when I first read this book , and it can be difficult to describe as it is a drug-fuelled emotion that rises up into your head and clouds your perception. The clearest explanation would be that you know that you are on drugs and generally most drugs that I know of do not generally give an outward appearance, in the same way that alcohol does, like slurred speech and lack of balance and then you begin to fear that everybody else does as well, and that they are all looking at you suspiciously. You begin to believe that you can read their minds, and that they are all looking at you in a disapproving manner, and all of the sudden you want to get out of there because they are going to do bad things to you and you cannot fight back.The Fear is not rational, in fact it is completely irrational. You may have not attracted anybody's attention, but once the fear strikes, you believe that you have. It is the paranoia that everybody speaks about when it comes to drugs. There is no fear when you drink alcohol, in fact alcohol tends to fuel your confidence, rather than force you into a corner to hide, that is what The Fear does. As I have said, The Fear is something that people who have not done drugs would not understand, however it tends to be the psychedelic drugs, such as Marijuana and LSD, that bring about The Fear, not stimulates cocaine and ecstasy or depressants such as heroine .This is a really good movie, and it does indeed, as the author suggests, an exploration into the dark side of the American Dream. As the movie progresses, Raoul begins to contemplate the American Dream. Unfortunately he did not cover the race, and when he attended to DA's conference, he was so wacked out of drugs that The Fear caught him as well, particularly when the 'Drugs are bad' film clips were shown. This is an incredibly funny movie, though I suspect that it will not be everybody's taste.
You have not seen this movie? * heavy use of a fly swat* (by tuulitex)
I was somewhere around East Estonia when I got hold of the book. It was the summer of 96... I never returned it to my friend. There was not much to return. Then in 1999 There was a movie in our cinemas they had translated into estonian as something like "To Las Vegas on Wheels". I had no effin idea it was a movie based on that very same book! You can imagine my surprise when I went to see it....no, actually, you can't. There is no way of expressing the surprise I felt. I had just gotten 18.... I had no guts to tell ANYONE I had even seen such a movie. My parents had seen the <more>
book lying around, but they don't speak English. I had plans to mention it, but I was delayed when a local newspaper published a review with a picture of Dr. Gonzo as SPOILER!a hairy - titted devil. Besides, I know what my parents would have said. "We are right in the middle of an economic crisis and someone is showing drug movies to our goddamn children!!!!" Yes, a very bad moment. Now it has been almost 8 years...It HAS been 8 years! What the F***? But, man, I tell you, you'd have to be crazy on electric bills to think this movie's advocating drugs to anyone. It is THE trip that no person can ever have again. So why bother trying? Besides, it is a scary trip, yes sir, morey eels, huge bats and polar bears and maniacs in the bathtub. How about some ether? You can handle your parent screaming at you for watching men slicing Z-s on each others forehead, but no one should be asked to handle your mom saying "Oh, great-grandmother sipped ether every night in her rocking chair, falling asleep with her legs spread and mouth wide open. And we the girls had a bottle along on cold winter days going to school in PRESCHOOL. " This makes me wonder....Duke and Gonzo only got their high by sniffing? Softies. The body language, both of them - brilliant! Maximum input....and out...put...It has caught every side of the story. The crazy, the absurd, the violent, the nostalgic, the outrageous. And after you have finished watching it, watch the last Pirate movie again, and find 5 similarities. You are now leaving Redfox's comment.
This is far from your everyday movie, and only for those with a deep appreciation for the diversity of film-making, or fans of Hunter S. Thompson. This does not mean those mentioned will enjoy it, although definitely respect the attempt. I personally found it fascinating. To portray a permanently drug induced state to the big screen was done with creativity and subtle humour. You could expect nothing less from director Terry Gilliam who has played such a massive role in the brilliant and original Monty Python works. Having never read any of Hunter S. Thompson's work, I get the impression <more>
that justice is done for the adaptation to the big screen. An absolutely quality cast must be credited for this, ensuring a natural performance is achieved. Las Vegas which features strongly throughout the movie seems to be so appropriate when dealing with this subject matter, they just seem to go hand in hand.
Was there something I didn't get? Besides the fact that I didn't read the book but people who did seem to hate this movie too , my only regret is not leaving the movie early. My two friends begged me to leave about 30 minutes into the movie but I kept saying "no, I think it'll get better". It didn't. If you want to go see a movie about drugs, go see Permanent Midnight which I didn't like that much but at least IT MADE SENSE . This movie was complete and utter crap. It did not have any kind of plot or storyline that made any kind of sense. Perhaps I should have <more>
"He who makes a beast of himself," reads the opening line of Hunter S. Thompson's offbeat cult novel "gets rid of the pain of being a man." Words spoken from experience, perhaps, but what to make of this? Well- judged ideology? Homespun philosophy? Complete and utter boll**ks? Call it what you want. All that matters, here, is that it's a relevant and telling preamble to the outrageous and loyal film adaptation of one of modern literature's most controversial texts.Despite plans to translate Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from print to screen some 40 years back <more>
with the likes of Scorsese, Akroyd and Belushi supposedly keen to chip in , it wasn't until the unsung success of Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I 1987 that anything had come close to capturing the spirit, motifs and sheer mayhem of Thompson's semi-true tale: two blokes, a fcuk load of drink, drugs, a twisted journey and a bittersweet sense of cynicism as the swinging sixties dispersed into nothing more than memory.While Withnail and I didn't fare too well at the box-office, it grew an avid cult following and in the early 1990's, Hollywood producer Stephen Nemeth revived plans to bring Fear and Loathing to the big-screen.Directed, fittingly, by ex-Python Terry Gilliam, Fear and Loathing is a vicious, semi-surreal assault on not only everything in correspondence to tee-total nobility and the American way, but on all things currently bathing in the mainstream of contemporary cinema. Canted camera angles, out of sync dialogue, dreamlike imagery, senseless plot development, fast-cutting and slow-moing to the max'- the film, like the novel, is outrageously droll and wildly entertaining in its take on jangled reality and western capitalism.The acidic verve and eccentricity kicking in from the off: a monochrome montage of anti-Vietnam war protests followed by an abrupt wipe cut of a red convertible hurtling along a desert highway to the sound of Big Brother and the Holding Company's Combination of the Two. It's 1971 and Hunter S. Thompson aka Raoul Duke Johnny Depp is driving to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan Benicio Del Toro , in a warped pursuit of the proverbial American Dream. Decked out in Acapulco shirts and Aviators while twisted on a variety of drugs with an arsenal of uppers, downers and every which wayers locked and loaded in the trunk, the two doctors of journalism dive head-first into the depths of a mind-blending drug binge. Sin city, though, is no place for psychedelic drugs and what started out as a business trip put up by headquarters, descends into in a perilous frenzy and delegation to shed light on the dark side of the acid culture and the crumbling American dream. Fear and Loathing is a jittery, unpredictable film that shifts between sublimely executed set-plays and bizarre imagery. Like Thompson's original tale, the film portrays the seventies as the failure of the sixties and achieves a balance between the two main adjectives all directors and authors care about: "unique" and "brilliant". Here, Gilliam has a freehold on both of them. As does the ever-impressing chameleon of modern performing - Johnny Depp - who vanishes into a character of great absurdity "look, there's two women fcuking a polar bear" yet great insight "you have no faith in the essential decency of the white man's culture." Depp, who spent considerable time with Thompson in preparation for the role, succeeds in bringing the raw charisma, peculiarities and estranged physical and vocal gestures of the renegade writer to life.Del Toro's performance as the odd Samoan counteracts that of Depp's well. The chemistry between the two makes for some compulsive, Withnail and I-esque viewing. Where Thompson gets lyrical in his trips, the Samoan gets paranoid and violent. On top of threatening a photographer with a razor-sharp hunting knife, the foreign attorney proceeds to terrorize random pedestrians, threatening castration on numerous occasions and demanding Duke electrocute him in the tub to the sound of his favourite tune. A request that goes side-splittingly wrong.Like Duke's concerns early-on regarding his and the Samoan's handling of the drug binge, the film struggles to "maintain" in the final third. It borders what could be defined as laziness; Duke gets another writing assignment, another car, another hotel room, another batch of pills and booze. The second half of the tale runs almost parallel to the first which could be viewed as a manifestation of the zany, drug-fuelled antics or, perhaps, as a figurative reload that's reminiscent of peoples' views at the time regarding current affairs; externally, things may change as in the reshuffling of Nixon's cabinet , but on the inside, things remained the same the Vietnam war raged on .In its entirety, though, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas shouldn't be written-off as a mindless drug-culture fable-cum-road movie. Much like the book itself, Terry Gilliam's adaptation is an atypical creation that won't, by any means, appeal to all. Or many. But it is a cult classic in it's own right; a riotously funny film on the surface and a deadly serious one at heart. Perhaps too weird to love but far too rare to hate. "Buy the ticket; take the ride."