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Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)

DVD Cover (Universal)
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Overall Rating 73%
Overall Rating
Ranked #445
...out of 8,293 movies
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Connections: Where The Buffalo Roam

Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo drive a red convertible across the Mojave desert to Las Vegas with a suitcase full of drugs to cover a motorcycle race. As their consumption of drugs increases at an alarming rate, the stoned duo trash their hotel room and fear legal repercussions. Duke begins to drive back to L.A., but after an odd run-in with a cop, he returns to Sin City and continues his wild drug binge. --TMDb
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro
Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire
Michael Lee Gogin
Michael Lee Gogin
Larry Cedar
Larry Cedar
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: January 19, 2007
I know this is going to make me the unpopular kid on the block, and I know that people will say I'm giving this film a bad review because of it, but I can't stand Terry Gilliam as a director. He's a pompous, self-righteous blowhard who values 'too much' over 'enough'. He can't just let a film be itself - he has to make it as outlandish (in a bad way) as possible because he thinks it makes him look like a better director. "The Fisher King" is the only Terry Gilliam film I have really enjoyed, though I will admit that "Time Bandits" had its moments. "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" is just another over-the-top Terry Gilliam charade, but he thought it wouldn't be as noticed because it was dealing with an outlandish individual, Hunter S. Thompson. Wrong. It makes it far worse.

The film is about Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) traveling to Vegas and being as high and as psychotic as humanly possible. Gilliam directs the film like one big acid trip, which would normally prove effective - however, all of his films are directed like one big acid trip, though I would replace 'acid' with 'ego'. Here, the cast does a fine job with their roles, though I far preferred Bill Murray and Peter Boyle in "Where the Buffalos Roam" - a superior film about Thompson if there ever was one. Tobey Maguire, Gary Busey, and Ellen Barkin pop up with nice little roles, and they are charming, but it's not the performances that drive this film down, it's the direction at the skill-less hands of someone who should have stuck with Monty Python. "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" is all over the map and never really knows what it wants to be. Comedy? Drama? Drug epic? Mystery? I've seen Alzheimer's patients with better self-awareness.

That said, I did not hate this movie because I hate Terry Gilliam. Terry Gilliam is the reason that the film failed, but I would have been of that opinion regardless. This film should have been tackled by someone like Spike Jonze, or David O. Russell - they would have given the material the time and attention and careful hand that it deserved. They would have toned down what needed to be toned down and they would have kept it from becoming a manic-depressive joke. "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" is a mess of a movie from beginning to end, and Depp and Del Toro do their best to make it memorable - they, however, cannot save it from itself. "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" is a pointless film with little redeeming value whatsoever. Sorry. It's true. 2.5/10.
Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 01/19/2007, 11:05 AM
You know what, I'm not even going to say anything. I think this review alone speaks for itself.
Chad #2: Chad - added 01/19/2007, 11:08 AM
I've been meaning to see this, myself. Can't say anything at the moment since I haven't seen it, but I'll throw in my two cents sooner or later.
Edd #3: Edd - added 01/19/2007, 03:14 PM
Finally someone I can agree with about this shithole movie. Great review bluemeanie.
QuietMan #4: QuietMan - added 01/21/2007, 11:04 AM
Well I happen to like it; It's funny and enjoyable. The real Hunter Thompson liked the movie too. Thats my 2 cents
grain of sand #5: grain of sand - added 01/22/2007, 11:12 PM
I enjoyed this movie, but I see it purely as comedy.. how they portray the effect of the drugs from the viewpoints of the characters was interesting and very fun in my opinion, having been through similar through similar situations and such this movie lets someone compare, contrast, and laugh about it..
Ginose #6: Ginose - added 05/06/2007, 07:09 PM
this movie is fucking hillarious... I mean, see it as a comedy for God's sake! It is a comedy... a really... morbid and black humor about it... but that's just what I like 9/10
Shakes #7: Shakes - added 07/06/2008, 06:51 PM
This is a fun movie and an excellent work of art. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be on drugs to enjoy it, it's already pretty tripped out, and yes it's a hoot 'n a holler, at that! I don't see how you could possibly rate this movie so low. Really, what the hell? Anyway, HST makes a cameo in the club, he's sittin down at a table wearin shades and a visor, I believe. Thought I'd point that out. Where the Buffalo Roam is a great movie too, and in my opinion Peter Boyle does a better job as his attorney. Murray does a good job as HST, but Depp lived with him for something like 6 months to study all of his habits and portrayed an excellent Thompson, IMO. 9/10
Optimus Prime #8: Optimus Prime - added 01/19/2009, 06:52 PM
A bit overrated. Still good. Just one of those movies people say you HAVE to see. Not really.
Shakes #9: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 10:58 AM
overrated maybe. but 2.5?... that's hilarious.
Shakes #10: Shakes - added 01/23/2009, 06:49 AM
Again, blueweenie, how do you rate Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas a 2.5? Watch it again without playing with your cock when Johnny Depp smiles.
Crispy #11: Crispy - added 07/07/2009, 05:45 AM
Vaguely entertaining, but it was just too long and the plot just meanders too much with no real destination. Still, I loved Johnny Depp's character, especially during the opening acid trip.
Lucid Dreams #12: Lucid Dreams - added 04/16/2010, 11:51 PM
A very wacky movie from start to finish. It's not a perfect movie, but I enjoyed it. 8/10
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