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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Review

Posted by Auz - October 3rd, 2009

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Info about the movie
Title: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Year: 1998
Genre: Drama, Drugs
Duration: 120 minutes


I watched this movie late last night with a bunch of friends, and I think late at night is not a very good time to watch this movie.

During the entire two hours this movie lasts you see the two main characters, Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), stuck in a bad trip. You see them hallucinating, vomiting, getting panic attacks, talking gibberish and all kinds of other things that could be associated with having a bad trip. At first this idea appealed to me a lot since I'm a big fan of psychedelic, mindfuck movies. But this movie turned out to be a bit of a letdown in the end.

One of the reasons is that it is very hard to stay focused while watching this movie. Most of the events that occur are very random, there is almost no linearity in the plot. So you really gotta keep paying attention constantly because otherwise you'll probably have no idea what's going on, if you had any in the first place. For the first 30 minutes you can probably do fine, and I think that was when I enjoyed it most. After that the movie started to lose me. It really seemed to be going nowhere with the plot and all I saw was the two main characters wandering around aimlessly talking gibberish to themselves and each other. The occasional hallucination scenes were interesting though, but I've never had so much difficulty in watching a movie through until the end.

Then I was hoping for and expectation a very awesome ending to all of it, but I think this is where the movie disappointed me most. The ending did not satisfy at all, and to me it only showed how thin the real storyline of this movie actually is. The actual plot could probably be summarized in two or three sentences and that is not very impressive for a two-hour mindfuck movie in my opinion.

Technically the movie was pretty good though. The acting by Johnny Depp was very good (as expected) and I loved the soundtrack. A lot of classic 60's and 70's music passed by like the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Also, everything was filmed very nicely and the special effects were effective. Effective enough to make you feel spacey yourself.

To summarize everything: Technically the movie was very good, but the thin plot line and the unsatisfying ending ruin it. But it could very well be that I simply missed the big picture. Anyway, if you are planning this movie in the near future, I would advice you to watch it alone. A few shots of vodka might help with enjoying it to the fullest.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Review

Comments (2)

"Wait! We can't stop here. This is bat country!"

Too bad you didn't liked the movie that much, it's one of my favorite movies. First time I watched it, I felt as if I had taken all those drugs they take in the movie, heh.
But then I watched it again, and I liked it better. Then I watched it a third time... a fourth time... until today, I think I watched the movie 30 times or more. ^^
You can always discover something new when you watch the movie again. For example in the beginning when they pick up the hitchhiker (Toby Maguire, lol) and Raul "explains a few things" to him and the narration goes like:
"He said he understood, but I could see in his eyes that he didn't."
Then Raul in the car (not Raul the narrator) says: "He was lying to me." picking up from where the narrator stopped, still talking in past tense... ^^

Or when they check in in the hotel, somebody on the telephone talks about someone who got killed (presumably) and those who did it tried to get to the pineal gland. Later in the movie, Dr. Gonzo mentiones some stuff he got from a satanist and Raul says, there's only one source for this stuff, the human pineal gland.

I could go on about this, there are many many examples in this movie, but I don't want to spam your userpage with this kind of nonsene. ^^
Just one last thing, did you spot Hunter S. Thompson in this movie? ;)

So, I advise you to watch the movie a second time. :)

Like I said, I was spacing a little myself while watching this movie.

I got that "He was lying to me" you were talking about. And the dialogue in the car with Toby Maguire and the 'reptile house'-scene were my favourite scenes in the movie. I didn't notice the pineal gland things though. I probably missed a ton of other stuff in the movie as well. I guess due to the lack of concentration I had. Anyway, I think this is indeed one of those movies you simply gotta watch more than once. I'll definitely check it out again if I get the opportunity =)

Oh and I didn't know who Hunter S. Thompson was, but after looking him up it seems like the main character (Raoul) was largely inspired by him. As in... he looks exactly like him.

"Oh and I didn't know who Hunter S. Thompson was, but after looking him up it seems like the main character (Raoul) was largely inspired by him. As in... he looks exactly like him."

Haha, I didn't know who he was at first either, but I read somewhere he had a cameo in the movie. In one of the flashbacks where Raul is in a Disco he says something like: "Good lord, there I AM!" and there's an old man sitting at a table. That's Thompson.

Also after the desert race the hotel manager comes to Raul and has a telegram for a Hunter S. Thompson. So yeah, Raul Duke and Hunter S. Thompson are the same person. I haven't figured out why he uses a pseudonym though. :D