‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ 1998

Journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr Gonzo drive from LA to Las Vegas on a drugs binge. They nominally cover news stories, including a convention on drug abuse, but also sink deeper into a frightening psychedelic otherworld. As Vietnam, Altamont and the Tate killings impinge from the world of TV news, Duke and Gonzo see casinos, reptiles and the American dream.

Parents need to know that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a two-hour celebration of drugs, foul language, and debauchery, with little or no consequences, redemption, or lessons learned. Lead character Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) is based on famous “Gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson — but there’s little actual writing going on in the movie amid the fog of drugs, drinking, and swearing. Although little actual sex is shown, there’s plenty of violent and depraved sexual imagery in the dialogue, yet another reason this movie absolutely isn’t for kids. But for adults — especially those already inducted into the Thompson cult — the movie is a hilarious cult favorite.

As directed by Terry Gilliam, this seemingly pointless celebration of bad behavior is also a hilarious and crazily visual comedy for adults already inducted into the Hunter S. Thompson cult. The movie sets a bizarre, frantic pace and sustains it successfully for its entire running time. Gilliam’s extraordinary camerawork — as well as weird makeup and visual effects — attempts to capture the feel of a real drug trip, as well as some imaginatively trashed hotel rooms afterward.   – Common Sense Media

 

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