Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ★★★★

Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is underrated, even though it literally tells such a broad and overly simple/ brainless story, it’s still enjoyable and entertaining. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is so incredibly wacky and weird, at some points it’s kinda hard to follow the story because instead of listening to the dialogue (which is usually just mumbling and weird loud tones voices), you’re probably just looking at the crazy things happening in the background. But what I’ve just mentioned is nowhere near a flaw for this film, half of the film is filled with it, it honestly just makes everything so much better. If you don’t get the hint that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a crazy story told by a filmmaker known for releasing surreal films… you’re either gonna love it and be mindblown, or you’re gonna hate it. The biggest reason I like Gilliam’s films is the awesome feeling all of his films give you, they’re all funny and comedic, none of them disappoint you visually, and you just realize how confident, daring, but overall genuine all of films are. Let me explain myself when I say genuine, it’s clear and obvious Terry Gilliam likes to make unusual and unordinary films, so the fact that he keeps on making them one after another consistent just proves he loves what he does and is just here to harmlessly entertain. There’s really no huge storyline to this film, it’s just one joke after another, and it features so many likable elements that’ll keep you absorbed and satisfied. The reason why I’ve mentioned all of this is to prove my most important point with this film and Terry Gilliam as a whole, if you don’t realize his films are just crazy and somewhat hard to follow (sometimes), then you’re watching them wrong. It’s totally understandable how some people could dislike his films though, not everyone likes his unique one of a kind style.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has so many memorable moments, but my most memorable and favorite of them all is easily Johnny Depp’s performance. His character is so weird and is literally never “normal” (because he’s always high on the drugs he constantly takes). The hallucinations he has throughout the film are so fun and insane so that makes everything better. All of the facial expressions and hand gestures he makes in this film say so much even though he says absolutely nothing. I don’t know how to explain his character now that I think about it, just know he’s a pretty fun and rewatchable film character. I really liked the camerawork and cinematography, the use of color was absolutely incredible. Gilliam’s best work for me is Brazil, and in some ways Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a little bit stronger than Brazil, but it has its obvious flaws. The story once again is overly simple but at the same time hard to follow in some ways, it’s literally just an odd adventure following two crazy drug addicts cruising their way through an over exaggerated Las Vegas. That’s it, seems pretty interesting to me. The style in all of Gilliam’s films is so unique and fascinating, it’s just wild, and I absolutely love it. One notable “stylish” element of this film is the outfits and clothing worn by our main characters, this film takes place in 1971… the clothes make no sense but after all it’s Terry Gilliam. Other notable aspects would be the sound effects and the set design, everything is so colorful and unlasvegas-like (I know that’s not even close to being a word but seriously Las Vegas is absolutely nothing like this). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is executed in a perfect way, it aims to be wacky, and it ends up being wacky. So therefore this film is so great at being what it obviously tried to be. It’s the kind of film that could’ve been 3 hours and I wouldn’t of cared. The only big flaws for the film is that it clearly lacks story detail, and didn’t focus on anything besides the way it looked visually, the characters, the jokes, and the craziness. But after all, who didn’t have a good time with this? Can’t forget how oddly satisfying Depp’s narration was…

B-

Jake Gonzalez liked this review