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Archive for March 5th, 2019

By J.D. Lafrance

After more than twenty years of failed attempts and missed opportunities, Terry Gilliam did what many thought impossible — he transformed Hunter S. Thompson’s classic novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, into the cinematic equivalent of a having sledgehammer whacked across your frontal lobes. The book had finally been fully realized and brought to the big screen in all of its demented glory. The film crashed and burned in theaters, infamously debuting at the Cannes Film Festival where it was roasted by critics, but it has aged very well, attracting a devoted cult film following that quote from its numerous memorable scenes.

Gilliam’s film faithfully adapts journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo’s (Benicio Del Toro) trip to Las Vegas to cover the 1971 Mint 400 motorcycle race for Sports Illustrated magazine. The competition, however, is merely an excuse for the duo to abuse their expense account and indulge in a galaxy of drugs. What was initially a simple journey to cover a motorcycle race mutates into a bizarre search for the American Dream.

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