Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Self Destructs

Benicio Del Toro and Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his attorney of sorts Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) leave Hollywood on a Friday in a red convertible to drive across the desert to Las Vegas with a trunk full of drugs and many more already inside them. Their mission is to cover a motorcycle race but as the duo take more and more drugs their behaviour becomes more dangerous and outrageous as they find themselves looking at trouble when they trash a hotel room. When Duke decides to head back to Hollywood a run in with a cop only leads to him heading back to the bright lights of Vegas and even more drugs.

WTF was that all about? Whilst I am on about "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" I am also on about a discussion I had with a film fan who lambasted me for my negative opinion over this movie. But in the midst of this hilarious tirade which was as incoherent as the movie and from someone who obviously can't accept that someone can have a different opinion to his own I did pick up on two very important things which as I thought about them made sense.

So the first of those was the mention of Hunter S. Thompson's book on which this is based. Now I have never read the book and when I first watched "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" I had not even heard of Hunter S. Thompson and I reckon that the only way this movie can be truly understood is to have read the book or at least encountered Hunter S. Thompson and his whacked out style before. Without that connection what you have in this movie is whacked out pointlessness, a drug fuelled journey into nothingness. Now maybe that was the point, maybe this movie is all about pointlessness but unless you are aware of it all you end up with is nonsense.

But then there is the second thing and that is Johnny Depp and this is Depp from a time when he acted, he took movies with interesting characters and delivered them. And there is no denying that Depp as Raoul Duke delivers a non stop performance, full of quirks and a voice which frequently made me question whether it was really Depp doing the talking. But if you don't get the point of the movie and you are not fussed about Depp then it makes it even harder for this movie to work. In fact it becomes a movie where you suddenly spot an actor in a minor role such as Cameron Diaz showing up as a reporter in an elevator.

So let me say what I saw in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", a movie with no story, two good but over the top performances, plenty of directing style but an incoherent mess which as I said probably makes sense only to those who have read the book on which it is based. Although I do wonder how this messy movie must come across when you are off your head as it is probably a real horror show.

What this all boils down to is that despite plenty who praise this movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" didn't work for me and was one of the few times when I was genuinely glad when the movie was over.

Movie Recommendations

Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco (1997)

After spending 2 years undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone (Johnny Depp ...

The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary (2011)

Journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a j ...

Public Enemies

Public Enemies (2009)

It's the year 1933 and as J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup - Sleepers) tries t ...

Secret Window

Secret Window (2004)

6 months after catching his wife Amy (Maria Bello - Coyote Ugly) in a motel ...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

It's Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth's (Keira Knightley - Love Actually) ...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

15 years after being thrown in jail on false charges Benjamin Barker return ...

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Having grown up and now approaching her 20th birthday Alice (Mia Wasikowska ...

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005)

After years of being a complete recluse, Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp - PFindin ...

Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland (2004)

1903 and author & playwright J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp - Chocolat) is at a c ...

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

Having been taken to Davy Jones' Locker, Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbo ...


Chocolat (2000)

In a small picturesque and religious French town, Vianne Rocher (Juliette B ...

From Hell

From Hell (2001)

Walking the streets of London is hard going for Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) ...

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Living a quiet life El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas - The Mask of Zorro) is t ...

The Tourist

The Tourist (2010)

Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie - Wanted) is a woman under surveillance; ...

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Having masqueraded as a judge to save his old friend Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin ...

Follow The Movie Scene

Follow The Movie Scene on Twitter Like The Movie Scene on facebook Join The Movie Scene on Gplus Subscribe to The Movie Scene's RSS