LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
As your lawyer, I advise you to see this film ... if you remember 1970. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is about 98 percent true to the book; so if you liked the book, you'll like the film. Like the book, the film is a painful experience.
Johnny Depp plays Raul Duke, a journalist devoid of all social graces, and sense of responsibility. Benicio Del Toro plays his attorney who advises everything from what to eat at dinner to which drugs to take next. These two are on their way to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race. They never really cover the race; they just keep dropping acid, snorting ether, and swallowing a zillion colorful pills.
Lest you think this is a pro-drug story, I have never seen it this way. Reading the book, I thought, "Who would do this to themselves?" The film is equal in its expose of the dark side of drugs. It can be a gross-out, but that's the point. The gloves are off.
This isn't the feel-good movie of the season. It's not a date film. It's not a chick flick. It's not a family film. It's dark. It's ugly. It's a masterpiece in filmmaking. I'm just happy that a film of this type can still be made. Not every film should have a happy ending. Not every film should be about nice heroes. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is about, as Duke says, the side of drugs that Timothy Leary didn't mention. Stories of this type should be made more often.
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Released in 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo