Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (1998) Random Movie Review (Written By Jaeden Noel)


 Any parent who doesn't want their child to try psychedelics should use this as a PSA. Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is the 1998 cult classic directed by Terry Gilliam and stars Johnny Depp & Benicio Del Toro. The film follows Duke Raoul (Depp), a freelance journalist who travels to Vegas with his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Del Toro) to cover a motorcycle race. Stocked to the brim with every drug you could ever think of, the duo binge their way through the vibrant world of Las Vegas turning their goal into finding the American dream.  Before I get into the film, I want to mention how shocked I was to see the absolute slander this film got when it came out 23 years ago. The fact that the film received virtually universal hate blows my mind. Maybe the critics were on drugs themselves, but wouldn't that make them like it more?

More than anything, the film is an experience. The aspect of typical linear storytelling is set aside to effectively put the viewer in the mind of a walking talking sheet of LSD. Feelings of confusion, euphoria, delusion and pure insanity are effortlessly brought to the screen and create an unforgettable, twisted & hilarious time. Without a doubt this is Johnny Depp's best performance ever. Everything from the way he walks & talks, to his overall body language and expressions are hands down perfect. The fact that he didn't get an Oscar nod simply baffles me. Gradually, Duke escalates more into psychosis as expected & with it the character simply gets better and better. Benicio Del Toro is also great in the film and the two have excellent chemistry. Basically playing a game of "who can push themselves further" with each other the entire film, they work off each other so well and could quite possibly one of cinemas best duo's ever. 

The screenplay is bonkers. As I said, the film doesn't necessarily follow your typical linear storytelling in the way that everything is flat out clear and concise. Gilliam and the fellow screenwriters nailed the script making for one of the most interesting stories I've ever seen put to film. There's never a dull moment here as I was immediately glued to my screen as soon as the first shot started rolling. Another great thing is that while there's a sh*t ton of drugs on display, it's never really glorified. Yes, it's no doubt that we want to see these characters consume more and more drugs because that's what we came to see. HOWEVER, while watching these acts carry out, deep down theres a feeling of "uh they really shouldn't be doing that". If anything, this film made me want to steer clear of psychedelics forever because of how hard sh*t hits the fan here.  Cinematographer Nicola Percorini is an absolute genius. Everything from the back drops of a night in Vegas to wide desert roads look stunning. Everything on display is shown so up close and claustrophobically that contributes so heavily to presenting the wonky state of mind Duke and Gonzo are in. 

As your attorney, I strongly recommend checking out this film. That way you can understand the reference I just made! It's a crazy journey that will have you laughing, freaking out, and shocked at the insanity that unfolds. It's truly not a film for everyone and I'm sure a lot of people will and clearly already do despise the film for whatever reasons. Just don't let TikTok find out about it, they'll eat this up faster then Duke pops tabs. I'll even admit it myself, after finishing I didn't have the immediate gratification that would make me give this a 5/5, but after hours & hours & hours of thinking I can easily say, this is one of my favourite movies of all time. 

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas Gets A 5/5!

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